Almost all Fords will get EcoBoosts
Cleveland plant adds the 2.0-liter engine
CLEVELAND -- By bringing production of its 2.0-liter, four-cylinder EcoBoost engine to a plant here in late 2014, Ford Motor Co. is setting the stage for using the engine brand through nearly its entire lineup.
Even the Mustang, long known for muscular V-6 and V-8 power, could benefit when the next-generation pony car arrives in 2015.
The company said EcoBoost engines will be offered on more than 90 percent of its North American nameplates this year and 95 percent by 2015.
Ford will invest nearly $200 million and add 450 jobs at its Cleveland Engine Plant, which will produce all 2.0-liter EcoBoost engines for North America, in addition to the 3.5-liter EcoBoost it already builds. Ford had previously imported the 2.0-liter engine from a factory in Valencia, Spain, which will continue to produce the engine for Europe.
Joe Hinrichs, Ford president for the Americas, said on the sidelines of a plant ceremony here that "growing demand for the EcoBoost engine" was the No. 1 reason for the shift in production bases.
"An engine is expensive to ship. There's more demand than we have the capacity for," he said. "It makes sense to make it here."
Ford said it would expand production of EcoBoost engines to 1.6 million engines this year -- 100,000 more than its previous target.
The 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine has become a mainstay of high-volume models such as the Escape and Fusion, where it is replacing V-6s from the previous generation. It is also available on the Ford Explorer, Edge, Focus ST and Taurus and the Lincoln MKZ and MKT Livery.
Ford officials would not discuss future product. But the 2.0-liter EcoBoost likely will be offered on the Lincoln MKC crossover, shown as a concept in Detroit and likely to arrive as a production model in late 2013 or early 2014.
Michael Omotoso, senior manager of global powertrain for LMC Automotive in suburban Detroit, said a four-cylinder EcoBoost engine also would be a good candidate to be the base engine on the redesigned Mustang. The 2.0-liter EcoBoost produces 240 hp in most applications. The most powerful version puts out 258 hp in the sporty Focus ST performance model.
Omotoso said moving production of the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine to the United States makes sense for Ford, especially in light of coming federal fuel economy rules.
"Ford needs all the fuel-efficient engines they can get. If the 2.0 can replace some V-6s and get better fuel economy, it makes sense for Ford to do that," he said.
Lowering production costs by building the engine in North America also "should be good for their bottom line because they charge a premium for the EcoBoost."
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