Ford Motor Co.F recently began the production of 2.0-liter and 2.3-liter EcoBoost engines in the Cleveland Engine Plant in Ohio. These latest twin-scroll engines will be manufactured mainly for vehicles built in North America. Notably, this marks the first production of the engines in the U.S.
The 2.0-liter engine will feature in the new Ford Edge, which is scheduled to hit the markets in the first quarter of 2015. The new Edge features adaptive steering, enhanced active park assist, side parking sensors and a front 180-degree camera.
Meanwhile, vehicles like Ford Mustang, Explorer and Lincoln MKC will be equipped with the 2.3-liter engine. The new Explorer will come with a new look and the latest 2.3-liter I-4 EcoBoost engine.
Ford is presently focusing on providing customers with fuel-efficient and affordable engines. In 2013, the automaker invested $200 million and hired 450 workers to support production and meet rising demand for EcoBoost engines. In order to optimize production capabilities globally, the company started assembling the engines regionally.
Earlier, the 2.0-liter and 2.3-liter EcoBoost engines were made in Ford's plant in Valencia, Spain. However, post the latest engine manufacturing switch, the Valencia plant will now be building 2-liter engines for vehicles which are assembled in Europe. Also, the plant will supply engine components for the 2.0-liter and 2.3-liter engines.
Currently, the Cleveland plant employs about 1,300 heads and manufactures the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine and the 3.7-liter V-6 rear-wheel drive application. Since 2009, Ford produced 1 million Eco Boost engines at this plant which were used to support the company's operations in North America, Mexico, Europe and Asia Pacific.
In order to reduce fuel consumption as well as emission, Ford introduced EcoBoost engines in 2009. These small-sized engines, when combined with turbocharging, gasoline direct injection and variable valve timing, offer enhanced fuel efficiency. The automaker manufactured as many as about 1.6 million EcoBoost engines globally in 2014.
Ford has been enjoying the leading position in the utility vehicle market in the U.S. for the last four years. In 2014, the automaker sold more than 1.4 million utility vehicles globally, reflecting an 11% rise year over year. The all-new Edge and Explorer - which comprise 2.0 and 2.3-liter EcoBoost engines - will largely benefit from the rising utility vehicle sales..
Ford currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked auto stocks include Meritor, Inc. MTOR , American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc. AXL and General Motors Co. GM . All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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