Ford will invest $200 million and add 200 jobs to start production of its 2.0-liter EcoBoost inline-four at the company’s Cleveland Engine Plant in Ohio. The four-cylinder is currently built in Valencia, Spain, but is used in several U.S.-market Ford vehicles.
Ford’s Cleveland plant was the first domestic factory to build the company’s EcoBoost turbocharged and direct-injected engine series. It currently assembles the 3.5-liter EcoBoost and the traditional 3.7-liter V-6 engines. But with Ford aiming to offer 95 percent of its U.S. products with EcoBoost mills by 2015, domestic engine production is an important step toward increasing volume and reducing costs.
The 2.0-liter EcoBoost is already available in the Ford Edge, Escape, Fusion, Explorer, Fusion, Taurus, and Focus ST, as well as the 2013 Lincoln MKZ. The Cleveland plant employs 1300 people and has built nearly half a million 3.5-liter EcoBoost engines since 2009.
Ford doesn’t plan any layoffs in Spain — workers from the Valencia Engine Plant will transfer to the nearby Valencia Assembly Plant to add more production capacity for the European-market C-Max, Kuga, Transit Connect, and Tourneo Connect. The engine plant will also still build the 2.0-liter EcoBoost for European products.
This year, Ford expects to sell over 500,000 vehicles with EcoBoost engines in the U.S. — a 50-percent increase from last year’s sales of 334,364 EcoBoost vehicles.
Production of the 2.0-liter engine in Ohio will begin in early 2014.
By Jake Holmes