With four 2010 models scheduled to receive its new EcoBoost engine, Ford has announced that it will restart production at its Cleveland Engine Plant No. 1.
Ford will make its direct-injected, turbo-charged EcoBoost engines available for the 2010 Ford Flex, 2010 Ford Taurus, 2010 Lincoln MKS, and 2010 Lincoln MKT. The engine will produce V-8-like horsepower and torque while keeping the fuel economy of a V-6.
Ford's Cleveland Engine Plant No. 1 has been idled since 2007, during which time Ford has spent $55 million to retool the plant to make the EcoBoost engine. Ford equipped the plant with a "flexible manufacturing system," with machinery that can be reprogrammed with minimal disruption to output. A new database will hold information about each engine so that plant engineers can track every stage of production, and engine history will be saved in a microchip database with metrics that will allow engineers to more easily trace quality control issues.
No new workers will be hired to staff the plant; about 250 workers from the other plants at the Cleveland site will be used instead. The employees participated in a training program that educated them on the basics of manufacturing operations, as well as knowledge specific to managing their particular work area.
Ford's EcoBoost engine options will be available starting this summer.