Ford Motor Company begins production of its new line of fuel-efficient low-emission engines at Cleveland Engine Plant Number 1.
Plant opened in 1951
In an era of Greenfield manufacturing facilities, it’s refreshing to see an auto company refurbishing and upgrading an older facility to accommodate the latest in technology. By picking Cleveland as the first site for its new EcoBoost production facility, Ford has reaffirmed its commitment to the Midwest as well as to an historic engine plant.
It was back in 1951 that Ford first began producing engines at Cleveland Engine Plant No. 1. Back then, the facility was the site of another first – the company’s first overhead valve engine, the Lincoln V-8. Later on, the Ford 355 engine was produced there and became known as the “Cleveland” engine. The 302 and 5.0 liter V-8’s were also built there, but in 2007, the plant was shut down.
After investing $55 million for tooling and equipment upgrades, 250 employees from the existing three plants in the area will return to Number 1 to build the new 3.5 liter EcoBoost V-6.
While engines, for most buyers, may not be the sexiest part of a new car, they can contribute to over 33 percent of its cost. Ford has stated previously that with every new product they company plans on introducing, it expects to be the best or among the best for fuel economy. This is aided by one of the most extensive powertrain upgrades ever for Ford. By the end of 2010, nearly all of Ford’s North American engines will be upgraded or replaced.
This year marks the first application of Ford’s new EcoBoost engine technology. EcoBoost uses gasoline turbocharged direct-injection technology for up to 20 percent better fuel economy, up to 15 percent fewer CO2 emissions and superior driving performance versus larger-displacement engines.
EcoBoost V-6 engines will be introduced on several vehicles this year, beginning with the 2010 Lincoln MKS, Lincoln MKT and Ford Taurus SHO sedans as well as the Ford Flex crossover. Later on, four-cylinder EcoBoost engines will debut in 2010 in both North America and Europe. Ford also plans on eventually offering EcoBoost technology on more than 80 percent of its North American lineup by the end of 2012.