Ford invests $500 million at Ohio engine plant

Ford invests $500 million at Ohio engine plant

Adding 300 employees in Lima to support 2.7L engine for aluminum pickups.

March 29, 2014

Lima, Ohio – Ford investing $500 million to add 300 jobs and upgrade Lima Engine Plant in Ohio to support production of the new 2.7L EcoBoost V6 engine for the 2015 F-150.

The high-output, twin-turbo 2.7L V6 is part of the weight-slashing regimen that Ford has put in place with the upcoming pickup. By switching from steel body panels to aluminum; replacing much of the truck frame with high-strength, lower-weight steel; and downsizing the engine to 2.7L from 3.5L to 5L, Ford will cut about 700 pounds out of some versions of the truck. In auto design terms, each 100 pounds of weight translates to about one extra mile per gallon.

The new engine features a compacted graphite iron (CGI) engine block, the same material used in Ford’s 6.7L diesel commercial truck engines. The composite of CGI and aluminum saves weight while providing strength and durability.

In addition to weight savings, the new 2.7L engine will further goose fuel economy performance by adding start-stop features which shut off fuel use when the truck is at a stop – except when towing or in four-wheel-drive mode. The engine quickly restarts once the driver releases the brake.

The new EcoBoost engine builds on recording-breaking customer demand for F-150 pickups equipped with V6 engines. So far this year, 57% of new customers have opted for either a 3.7L V6 or 3.5L V6 EcoBoost for the pickups. Ford makes the larger V6s at its Cleveland Engine Plant, a facility that will begin producing 2L I-4 engines.

Since 2010, retail registrations of light-duty pickups with V6 engines have grown more than 600%, with Ford F-150 directly responsible for 91% of this growth, according to Ford analysis of Polk retail new vehicle registration data from IHS Automotive.

“Our truck customers have spoken, and we continue to meet their evolving needs by providing another V6 option in the all-new 2015 F-150,” says Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of the Americas. “The hardworking team at Lima Engine is thrilled to begin building one of the most technologically advanced engines ever designed for America’s No. 1 truck.”

The $500 million investment will go to a new flexible engine assembly system and renovation of 700,000 ft2 of the facility for machining and assembly functions.

“Lima Engine has kept Ford and Lincoln vehicles running for nearly 60 years,” says Bruce Hettle, Ford vice president, North America manufacturing. “Bringing production of the new 2.7-liter EcoBoost to Lima Engine Plant helps build a solid future both for Ford and the dedicated workers in Ohio.”

Lima Engine Plant, which opened in 1957, employs more than 900 people and is one of the largest employers in Allen County. On March 13, the 3-millionth Duratec V6 was built there, and later this year the 40-millionth engine produced at the plant will roll off the assembly line.

“The new jobs at Lima Engine Plant will be a major boost to the community, and continue F-150’s reputation as one of the most American-made vehicles,” says Jimmy Settles, United Auto Workers vice president, National Ford Department.

Source: Ford Motor Co.