Ford has named its Bridgend Engine Plant as a further location to source its new 1.5-litre four-cylinder EcoBoost gasoline engine.
In parallel with the news, Ford has announced a £24 million investment in the facility, £12 million of which will be provided by the Welsh Government in the form of a ‘support package’.
The investment will bring valuable work to machine tool companies and equipment suppliers. Ford adds that the investment will also ‘help safeguard and create high-quality production and engineering jobs in Wales’.
Bridgend builds 2,668 four-cylinder engines a day, with exports going to Spain, Sweden, Germany, Russia, Belgium and the USA. The facility also makes V6 and V8 engines for customers (principally for Jaguar and Land Rover) and, together with four-cylinder engines, the total is 3,400 engines a day. This might suggest a total of 732 V6 and V8 engines a day.
Employment at Bridgend will rise to 2,300 this year.
Ford’s Bridgend facility’s total production now exceeds 17 million engines. Its engines power vehicles such as the Ford Fiesta, B-Max, Focus, C-Max, Kuga and Mondeo models.
Overall, the plant has benefitted from an investment of £1.8 billion since it was opened in 1980. The new 1.5-litre EcoBoost will be built alongside the 1.6-litre EcoBoost the company introduced in 2011.
The 1.5-litre EcoBoost is the first engine with a computer-controlled clutch on the belt-driven water pump which improves efficiencies by reducing warm-up timer. A new water-cooled charge air cooler provides a more efficient air feed to the engine which also features an integrated exhaust manifold. ∎
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