DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. will spend a sum equal to a new-vehicle launch to tell customers about EcoBoost engines, the automaker's top marketing executive says.
"EcoBoost is a big deal for our customers, and it will be one of the fundamental technologies that differentiates Ford," said Jim Farley, Ford Motor group vice president, global marketing and Canada, Mexico and South America operations. Ford's EcoBoost global family of direct-injection, turbocharged engines will offer up to a 20 percent increase in fuel economy over older, higher-displacement engines, the company says. It will be a core part of Ford's powertrain overhaul in the next four years.
Ford introduced its first EcoBoost, a 3.5-liter V-6 engine with 355 hp, in the 2010 MKS sedan this summer. The engine is also available on the Ford Flex crossover, Taurus SHO sedan and the recently introduced Lincoln MKT crossover. Next year a 1.6-liter, inline four-cylinder EcoBoost will be available in Europe.
Ford expects to produce 1.3 million EcoBoost engines annually by 2013, including 750,000 in North America, a Ford spokesman says.
Ford plans to get the word out on EcoBoost's benefits through auto show displays and nameplate advertising.
Farley declined to give an exact dollar figure on Ford's expenditure to advertise EcoBoost. Typical advertising costs to launch a new vehicle run between $150 million and $300 million, say industry insiders.
Ford is promoting the 3.5 EcoBoost V-6 in advertising for the Ford Taurus SHO, Flex and Lincoln MKS.
Thomais Zaremba, Lincoln Mercury marketing communications manager, said each nameplate will market EcoBoost in a different way. For instance, SHO TV commercials focus on EcoBoost's street performance for an enthusiast audience, while Lincoln MKS commercials focus on EcoBoost's lower carbon dioxide emissions.
Lincoln recently sponsored online ads promoting a video of a head-to-head contest between an MKS with an EcoBoost V-6 and four V-8-equipped European luxury cars on 6versus8.com. Editors from Motor Trend and Automobile raced the cars on steep roads in Loveland Pass, Colo. The EcoBoost-equipped MKS came in a close second to the BMW 550i.
Last week Ford launched the Lincoln MKT; EcoBoost messages were not part of the initial ads, Zaremba said.
"We wanted to focus on the introduction of the all-new MKT nameplate first and then drill down deeper to all the features and benefits," said Zaremba.
Lincoln expects fewer customers to select the optional engine on MKT models and will not create special EcoBoost TV spots.