Ford Motor Company will invest nearly $200 million at its Cleveland Engine Plant in Brook Park, Ohio, adding an assembly line for its 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine. It will be the first time that engine is produce in North America. The automaker said rising consumer demand for the EcoBoostengine has prompted it to increase production on a regional basis, so a new assembly line at Cleveland will absorb the output of a Ford plant in Valencia, Spain that exports the engines to North American auto assembly plants.
Currently, 2.0-liter EcoBoost engines are installed in Ford Explorer, Edge, Escape, Fusion, Focus ST, Taurus, and Lincoln MKZ and MKT Livery vehicles.
Ford did not specify the nature of the capital investments at the Cleveland Engine Plant, nor its capacity targets. It emphasized, however, that the increase in production would result in 450 additional jobs there. The present employment total there is listed as 1,300.
Production of the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine at Cleveland will begin late in 2014.
"This is our One Ford plan at its best,” stated Ford’s Joe Hinrichs, president for Ford – Americas, “giving customers the power of choice to decide which fuel-efficient engine is best tailored to their needs."
The EcoBoost engine technology is the core element of Ford's global strategy for a common fuel-efficient and low-emission engine platform. It is based on turbocharger technology, with gasoline direct injection and variable valve timing. The automaker states the EcoBoost design achieves fuel-economy ratings that are up to 20% better than larger-displacement engines.
The Cleveland plant already produces a 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine, a six-cylinder design that Ford has adopted in place of V-8 engines — e.g., on its F-150 pickups — based on the power potential of the smaller unit. It also manufactures a 3.7-liter V6 engine.
The 2-liter EcoBoost that will be produced at Cleveland’s new assembly line will be a four-cylinder engine that Ford will offer in place of V-6 engines.
Ford says the smaller engines offer much better fuel economy than the engines they replaced.
This year, Ford estimated its EcoBoost production total would be 1.6 million units, and it said the engines would be available more than 90% of all Ford models. Ford expects to sell more than 500,000 EcoBoost-powered vehicles in the U.S. this year, up from 334,364 EcoBoost vehicles sold in 2012.
"Cleveland Engine Plant was the first to produce EcoBoost engines and will continue to be a cornerstone of Ford's strategy to deliver affordable fuel economy for millions," Hinrich continued.