Monday 15 April 2013

Ford timing challenges JLR Hotfire

Ford has said that it will invest £200 million to invest in four-cylinder engine production at its Brook Park, Cleveland, Ohio plant starting 2014 – the timing is similar to that of JaguarLandRover which begins production of its own four-cylinder gasoline and diesel Hotfire engines at Wolverhampton in 2014/2015.

Ford will equip an increasing number of models with smaller, more-efficient powertrains. Ford will add 450 jobs at Brook Park to build the 2-litre engines which the automaker has been building in Valencia, Spain. Valencia will continue to build these engines for Ford European-built vehicles as well as both Jaguar and Land Rover - see also recent item entitled Ricardo/JLR in I4 engine pact.

According to one US analyst, the 2-litre EcoBoost turbocharged engine is close to the power of a V6 with much better fuel economy.

By 2016 US automakers have to raise the average fuel economy of vehicles fleets sold in the US to 35.5 mile/gal; by 2025 the corporate average fuel economy, CAFÉ, is to 54.5mile/gal.

Last year, Ford produced 215,000 vehicles in North America with four-cylinder EcoBoost engines. Output of these engines could rise to 390,000 by 2015 with the majority coming from the Brook Park plant.

The company said it expects to sell more than 500,000 US vehicles this year with EcoBoost engines, up from 334,364 last year.

In Europe, Ford’s 2-litre 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-litre V-6 EcoBoost used in the top-selling Ford F-150 pickup.