Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 6:19 PM
Automaker Ford is bringing roughly 450 jobs to the Greater Cleveland area. The company is shifting production of its EcoBoost engine from Spain to its Brook Park plant. Ideastream’s Brian Bull reports:
The EcoBoost is Ford’s response to the federal government’s tightening fuel-efficiency standards, and it’s already used in the latest models of the Explorer, Edge, Fusion, and Taurus to name a few. With gas prices nearing $4.00 a gallon already, Ford expects consumers will be enticed by the engines’ performance.
Among the dignitaries at the announcement was Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of the Americas. He says Ford expects to sell 500,000 EcoBoost engines in 2013, compared to 330,000 last year.
“An increase of approximately 50 percent from just last year in 2012,” Hinrichs told the audience. “And globally, we’re happy to announce today that Ford plans to double sales of EcoBoost equipped vehicles this year...and Cleveland will play an even larger role, in the next great chapter, of EcoBoost.”
The Brook Park plant has seen operations consolidated and its workforce whittled over the past decade. Critics have said that’s because Ford and other big American automakers were slow to respond to rising gas prices, and foreign rivals with more fuel efficient cars.
But Kenneth Davidson, a team leader and member of the UAW Local 1250, says he’s confident Ford will keep competitive.
“We’ve learned a lot of hard lessons, and one of the big lessons is be flexible. Adapt to change. And that’s what we’re doin’.”
Production of the 2-liter EcoBoost engine is expected to start in late 2014. Ford is investing 200 million dollars into the venture.
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