A third shift will start at Ford Motor Co.’s Cleveland engine plant on Monday to cope with the bigger demand for light vehicles that use its fuel-efficient 3.5-liter EcoBoost and 3.7-liter V-6s. A ceremony was held at the plant where Mark Fields, president of the Americas, said that the production capacity is being expanded to meet the rising needs for fuel-efficient engines.
The engine plant in Cleveland is the first and only facility in North America to make EcoBoost engines. EcoBoost technology, a combination of Direct injection and turbocharging, was initially used in 2009 on the Ford Taurus and Lincoln MKS. Ford said that around 180,000 Cleveland-built 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6s have been bought since 2009.
Ford sold 121,000 vehicles with 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6s in 2011. This is when an EcoBoost option was offered for the F-150 pickup. During the first quarter of 2012, Ford sold over 39,000 vehicles with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine. This is more than 285% higher than the previous year. The addition of the third shift will mean that around 250 jobs will be preserved.
Ford said that as the Cleveland Engine Plant No. 2 is ending production this week, its employees will be transferred to the shift at the Cleveland Engine Plant No. 1. Ford said that this month, it hopes to add another shift of F-150 pickup production at its Kansas City assembly plant in Missouri.