Amidst increasing sales of V-6-powered full-size pickups, Ford announced a second EcoBoost engine for the redesigned 2015 Ford F-150 when it debuted in January. In order to build the new 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6, the automaker is investing $500 million into its Lima Engine Plant in Lima, Ohio. The investment will also add 300 jobs to the plant.
The plant, which currently employs 900 people, produces Ford’s naturally aspirated 3.5-liter and 3.7-liter V-6 engines used by the Ford Edge and Explorer; Lincoln MKX and MKT SUVs; and MKZ sedan. In addition to creating new jobs, the investment will be used to renovate 700,000 square-feet at the plant for a new flexible engine assembly system as well as for machining.
Since the beginning of 2014, 57 percent of F-150 retail sales have been V-6 models with sales split 46 percent for the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 and 11 percent for the naturally aspirated 3.7-liter V-6. That is the highest V-6 take-rate for Ford since 1967. Ford expects that number to rise with the new 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6. Citing data from Polk regarding retail registrations, Ford says sales of light-duty pickups with V-6 engines have grown 600 percent over the last three years, and credits F-150 sales for 91 percent of the growth. Ford also claims the F-150 accounted for 78 percent of all V-6-powered light-duty truck sales last year.
“We expect those numbers to hold for the rest of the year,” said Doug Scott, Ford Truck marketing manager, in a release. “It really is amazing when you consider we are doing that with just two V-6 engine choices. When we come out with the new 2015 F-150, we will offer three different V-6 engines, so the potential is there to go even higher.”
More than 450,000 EcoBoost-powered Ford F-150 pickups have been sold since 2011, according to the automaker. Earlier this month, Ford announced it will move production of the medium-duty F-650 and F-750 trucks from Mexico to Ohio Assembly Plant just outside of Cleveland in Avon Lake.