Ford to bring 2-liter EcoBoost engine to Brook Park, hundreds of jobs to come
BROOK PARK, Ohio — Ford will bring what could become its most popular engine to its Cleveland Engine Plant No. 1 in Brook Park by next year, the automaker said this morning.
The 2-liter, turbocharged EcoBoost engine is already used in six vehicles in the United States, and Ford has said it will go into others as well. Now made in Spain, the engine goes into everything from a hot rod version of the Focus compact car to the Escape sport utility vehicle. Ford said it will spend $200 million to upgrade the engine plant for the new line.
Last week, the United Auto Workers Local 1250 reached a tentative deal with Ford to bring the engine to the plant. In 2011, during nationwide contract talks with the UAW, Ford promised the plant a new engine contingent on getting a new local labor deal.
Brook Park employees narrowly approved that pact on Monday.
Local 1250 President Mike Gammella said over the next few years, the new engine could nearly double employment at the site to about 1,800 from 1,065 today. Ford said the investment will initially bring 450 jobs to the site, but Gammella said there should be lots of room for growth as more vehicles get the engine.
Most of the new workers will come from Ford plants that are closing in other areas such as the Walton Hills Stamping Plant that is set to close by 2015.
The 2-liter engine will be the second EcoBoost product made in Brook Park. EcoBoost is Ford’s term for turbocharged engines that use direct fuel injection, a pair of technologies that allow for smaller, more powerful engines. Boosted four cylinder engines can replace V-6s while boosted V-6s can replace V-8s.
The biggest success Ford has had with EcoBoost has been the 3.5-liter V-6 made in Brook Park. That engine quickly become the best selling motor in F-150 pickups, Ford’s best-selling vehicle.
Ford says the smaller engines offer much better fuel economy than the engines they replaced.
The 2-liter is Ford’s workhorse engine for most of its mid-sized products. The company expects it to be a huge seller in the Fusion sedan, Escape and Explorer SUV. In Europe, the company also uses the engine in minivans and it Australia, it uses it in a rear-wheel-drive Falcon sports sedan.
In several vehicles, the 2-liter EcoBoost replaces a 3-liter V-6 that had been made at the Cleveland Engine Plant No. 2 in Brook Park. Ford closed that site last year when it ended production of that engine. Workers transferred to Engine Plant No. 1 where Ford added a third production shift to feed demand for the truck engine.