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Ford builds two-millionth EcoBoost engine

Tue, 17 Sep 2013

Ford's EcoBoost engine lineup is only four years old, but it is growing into an important and popular global engine. As proof of its popularity, Ford just produced its 2 millionth EcoBoost engine – a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder – which rolled off the assembly line in Louisville, Kentucky under the hood of an Escape.

Ford now offers five EcoBoost engines around the world ranging from the 1.0-liter inline-three to the twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6, and the automaker is expanding production of two of its engine lines to keep up with demand. Earlier this year, Ford announced that the 2.0-liter EcoBoost would be built in Cleveland, Ohio starting in 2014 and, more recently, Ford said that it will be doubling production of the 1.0-liter EcoBoost in Germany. That turbo-three will also be produced in China at a new Ford engine plant in Chongqing.

Scroll down for Ford's full press release on this EcoBoost production milestone, including a breakdown of where all the engines were made.

Ford Builds Two Millionth EcoBoost Engine as Consumer Demand Grows in Markets Worldwide

-More than 100,000 EcoBoost engines now produced every month, with a target of 1.2 million for 2013, up more than 60 percent from 2012. For the first time, EcoBoost production expected to exceed Ford's global diesel-engine production

-Customer demand exceeds projections globally with 90 percent of Escape buyers in North America and 95 percent of Kuga buyers in Asia choosing EcoBoost; in diesel-centric Europe, 39 percent of Focus customers opt for EcoBoost

-Ford doubled Cologne, Germany, production of 1.0-liter EcoBoost to 1,000 engines per day, and is investing $200 million to build 2.0-liter EcoBoost in the U.S.

-Ford data shows North American consumers aware of EcoBoost are more likely to buy Ford vehicles than those unfamiliar with the engine technology; EcoBoost awareness also raising opinion of Ford among European, Asian consumers

DEARBORN, Mich., Sept. 16, 2013 – Ford Motor Company today celebrates a manufacturing milestone for its fuel-saving EcoBoost engines: Two million have been produced globally since Ford launched EcoBoost in 2009.

Growing customer demand for EcoBoost-powered vehicles in major markets worldwide is driving engine production higher. Factory output now averages more than 100,000 engines per month, up from 65,000 in 2012.

"Ford EcoBoost delivers great performance with lower fuel bills, a recipe that is proving incredibly popular with consumers around the world," said Joe Bakaj, vice president, powertrain engineering for Ford. "EcoBoost engines are attracting new customers to the Ford brand every day, and our plants are working hard to keep up with demand."

A Ford Escape powered by the two millionth production EcoBoost – a 2.0-liter unit – rolled off the line at Ford's Louisville, Ky.

EcoBoost technology combines smaller overall size with turbocharging, direct injection and variable valve timing to bring customers outstanding performance and fuel economy. Ford EcoBoost engines deliver up to 20 percent better fuel economy than larger-displacement gasoline engines.

Ford's global EcoBoost engine family now includes the 1.0-liter three-cylinder; 1.5-liter, 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines; and the powerful 3.5-liter V6. EcoBoost technology is available in every region Ford serves worldwide, and will be offered on approximately 80 percent of the company's global nameplates by the end of this year.

Better fuel efficiency - and lower fuel bills - are the top reasons for surging sales of optional EcoBoost engines. At today's gas prices, the EPA's fuel-economy website estimates an average annual fuel bill of $3,400 for a 2009 Ford F-150 2WD with a 5.4-liter V8 engine, but only $3,000 for a 2013 F-150 2WD with a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6. At this rate, a consumer would save an estimated $4,000 over a vehicle life of 10 years and 150,000 miles.

Working, saving... from farms to patrols

Businesses, too, are using EcoBoost-powered vehicles to cut fuel costs, while also tackling tough jobs. "The Ford EcoBoost engines provide an average mile and a half improvement over our V8-powered trucks at work," said Lyle Azevedo, fleet manager for Grimmway Farms in Bakersfield, Calif., which is a major grower of carrots and other crops. "With a 150,000-mile life cycle and with $3.50 a gallon gas, we're going to save over $300,000 on our fleet of 80 trucks over their lifetimes."

The New Mexico State Police was at first hesitant to shift from V8 engines to V6s with EcoBoost technology, said Lieutenant Tony Gonzalez, who manages the department's fleet of 60 Ford Police Interceptor sedans, 15 F-150 EcoBoost pickups and six Ford Fusion sedans equipped with EcoBoost engines.

"But we talked about the fuel economy and today we're looking at a 10 to 15 percent fuel economy improvement and would be getting even more fuel economy improvement if we could keep our foot out of them, but they're so fun to drive," said Gonzalez. "We spend $250,000 to $300,000 a month on fuel, so the savings to taxpayers really adds up."

Popularity, demand rising in North America
In North America, internal Ford data shows that the EcoBoost engine is now the most recognised fuel-efficient engine among consumers.

The popularity of EcoBoost in North America is reflected in high take rates on key models:
-90 percent of Ford Escape models are equipped with 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter EcoBoost engines
-50 percent of Fusion customers select one of three available EcoBoost models – the sedan is available with the 1.5-liter, 1.6-liter or 2.0-liter variants
-42 percent of F-150 trucks are purchased with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost.

This year, EcoBoost will be available on more than 90 percent of North American nameplates, rising to 95 percent by 2015.

To meet demand for the award-winning 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine, Ford is investing nearly $200 million to build the engine at its Cleveland, Ohio, engine plant, with production starting in 2014.

European expansion
In Europe, Ford is doubling production capacity at its Cologne, Germany, engine plant to more than 1,000 engines a day. This move is in response to robust demand for the 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine, which was named International Engine of the Year in 2012 and 2013 by a panel of auto journalists.

Already available on five European nameplates, the 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine will be fitted to 11 models by 2014. The three-cylinder unit is being chosen by a growing share of customers this year, accounting for 43 percent of B-MAX sales, 32 percent of Focus sales, 26 percent of Fiesta sales; and 24 percent of C-MAX and Grand C-MAX sales.

EcoBoost powertrains also are driving high demand for the Fiesta ST, with the1.6-liter EcoBoost, and Focus ST, with the 2.0-liter EcoBoost, while 18 percent of Kuga customers are choosing the 1.6-liter EcoBoost option in a segment that traditionally favors diesel engines. Nearly 40 percent more European customers are familiar with EcoBoost technology today compared to 2011, internal Ford data shows.

The Cologne plant also has begun production of the 1.0-liter EcoBoost for the North American market. The new 2014 Ford Fiesta – which goes on sale later this year – will be the first vehicle available in the United States with the 1.0-liter engine, and is expected to be certified as the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid car available in the United States.

Growth in Asia Pacific
In Asia Pacific, sales of EcoBoost vehicles through August are up 202 percent year-over-year in 2013, including a 189-percent rise in China. Ford plans to offer the fuel-efficient engine in 20 vehicles in the region by mid-decade, a five-fold increase from 2012.

Ninety-five percent of Kuga buyers in Asia Pacific are choosing the1.6-liter EcoBoost engine, while 90 percent of Edge owners and 62 percent of Mondeo buyers are opting for the efficient engines.

Ford will soon begin production of the 1.0-liter EcoBoost at the $500 million Changan Ford engine plant in Chongqing, China, which opened in June.

By Jeffrey N. Ross

See also: Ford to auction Mustang Cobra Jet prototype for charity [w/video], Edmunds ranks the best used cars for 2013, Ford F-150 SVT Raptor sales jumping to new heights.