Ford’s (NYSE:F) F-150 pickup equipped with its EcoBoost turbocharged V6 has been selling very, very well. So well, in fact, that Ford will be sinking $500 million into investments for the Lima, Ohio, engine plant that builds them to support the production of a new 2.7 liter EcoBoost unit, which will be found under the hood of the upcoming aluminum-bodied 2015 F-150. It will be one of four engine options for the new rig.
Included within that $500 million are 300 new jobs specifically for building the new EcoBoost engine, The Detroit News is reporting.
“Our truck customers have spoken, and we continue to meet their evolving needs by providing another V6 option in the all-new 2015 F-150,” Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s President of The Americas, said in a statement.
The Detroit News says that about 40 percent of all F-150 sales are loaded with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost, surpassing even Ford’s own internal projections and making a strong argument for the business case of an even smaller displacement six-cylinder engine. What’s interesting is that while Ford’s EcoBoost is so popular, the Chevrolet Silverado is having the opposite problem — buyers are flocking to the big V8s, forcing Chevy to push incentives to try and move the smaller units.
However, R.L. Polk & Co. data indicates that retail sales — excluding fleets — of light-duty pickups equipped with V6 engines have grown more than 600 percent since 2010, and Ford’s F-150 have accounted for nearly all of it. In addition to the 2.7 and 3.5 liter EcoBoost engines, Ford will also have a naturally aspirated 3.5 liter V6 and a 5.0 liter V8 engine in the 2015 F-150.
Ford has announced previously that it will be shifting its production of the F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks from Mexico to Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake, sometime early in 2015. The $500 million will help renovate and improve 700,000-square feet at the plant for the installation of a flexible engine assembly system, The Detroit News said. The plant already employs 900 people, and currently manufactures Ford’s 3.5 and 3.7 liter Duratec engines.