Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Ford's Next Eco-Boost Engine Leads To New Jobs in Ohio-Based Plant

Ford EcoBoost engine: Saves energy, creates jobs
It's probably safe to say the sustainability mantra has permanently affected the auto industry, and now there's evidence of it supporting the growing trend of domestic job creation.

Ford Motors' new EcoBoost engine was a big reason why its F-150 pickup trucks are the company's best-selling vehicle. The lightweight, six-cylinder truck engine models save energy and drag without sacrificing any power with a turbocharged gasoline direct-injection system. Now, for its 2015 line, Ford is introducing the 2.7 Liter V6 EcoBoost engine for its F-150's; the lightest version of its EcoBoost models yet.  The move clearly indicates Ford wants to go further investing in its EcoBoost engine line.

But it's also worth noting the they've chosen to include the location of the engine's construction as part of that investment.  The Lima Power Plant, based in northwestern Ohio, already has about 700 workers building the 3.5 and 3.7 liter EcoBoost engines for the 2014 F-150's.  Ford plans to add an expansion to the whole operation for 2015's new models, a move that amounts to $500 million and 300 additional jobs for the plant.

Building on a good thing is to be expected.  Keeping that good thing in the US, despite constant grumblings over labor wages from general corporate community is a good example of Ford's forward-thinking.  Sustainable, gas-conserving, environmentally-friendly vehicles are fast becoming characteristics sought after by an increasingly informed consumer public.  A pick-up truck that costs less to fill up is always going to be a good buy, regardless of someone's opinions on how much the environment should factor into their day-to-day living.  On the flip side, Ford may have hit onto an important new consumer demographic: the environmentally-conscious, but rural-based driver who has no need of a smart car.  There are plenty of newly-developing cities such as Portland, Austin, Santa Fe, etc, that have communities wanting to embrace sustainability, but living on terrain that no Prius or Leaf could survive on for long.  Ford's Eco-Boost F-150's are a perfect answer.    

Perhaps the best part of this announcement is that Ford's effort to create a more eco-friendly bridge to heartland living will directly benefit the American job landscape.  The expansion to the Lima plant will give it a permanence and with the prolific numbers of the F-150, there's no sign it will run out of orders anytime soon.

Donal Thoms-Cappello is a freelance writer for Rotor Clip Company.

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