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It's all about fuel effiency. Striving closer toward the EPA's 54 mpg mandate.
Ford says it's investing $200 million to make four-cylinder engines at an Ohio plant starting in late 2014 as the nation's second-largest automaker equips an increasing number of models with smaller, more fuel-efficient powertrains.
Ford will add 450 jobs at the factory in Brook Park, Ohio, to build the 2-liter engine there, the company said in a statement. Bloomberg reports that Ford has been building the engine in Valencia, Spain. That factory will continue to build the engine for Ford European-built vehicles.
The move is part of an aggressive plan to overhaul the Ford lineup to boost the fuel economy of models including the Taurus sedan and Explorer sport-utility vehicle.
Ford produced about 215,000 vehicles in North America last year that were equipped with four-cylinder EcoBoost engines, according to LMC Automotive estimates. Output of those vehicles may surge 81 percent to 390,000 units in 2015, with the bulk the engines coming from the Ohio factory and some still coming from the Valencia plant, said LMC analyst Mike Omotoso.
“Putting a four-cylinder engine in big cars like the Ford Taurus and even in SUVs like the Explorer helps both of those vehicles meet the standards,” added Omotoso, who is based in Troy, Michigan.
The company said today it expects to sell more than 500,000 U.S. vehicles this year with EcoBoost engines, up from 334,364 last year.
Ford’s 2-liter EcoBoost engines are used in the company’s Ford Focus, Fusion, Escape, Explorer, Edge and Taurus as well as the new Lincoln MKZ sedan, according to the company. The automaker’s Ohio engine plant already produces the 3.5-liter V-6 EcoBoost used in the top-selling Ford F-150 pickup, the company’s website shows.