July 16, 2003

Ford announces it will build new 3.5 litre V6 engine

Lima, Ohio – Ford Motor Company today announced it is investing U.S.$335 million in its Lima (Ohio) Engine Plant to build an all-new 3.5-litre V6 engine.

The sophisticated, all-aluminum dual-overhead-cam (DOHC) 24-valve Duratec 3.5 V6 engine will power a variety of future Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles, including passenger cars and crossover vehicles. Annual production capacity is projected to be up to 325,000 engines a year. Production of the new engine will begin at the Lima plant by the end of 2005.

“This new V-6 will be cutting edge, truly world-class,” said Dave Szczupak, vice president, Powertrain Operations, Ford Motor Company. “Our engineers started with a clean sheet of paper to develop this new engine. It will power a variety of vehicles and includes advanced technologies such as variable-valve timing, a feature we are adding to a significant number of all our engines.”

A feature favoured by many environmentalists, variable-valve timing helps to reduce emissions, improve fuel efficiency as well as idle smoothness, while at the same time maximizing performance. The variable-valve mechanism works by precisely controlling the engine’s camshaft position at any given millisecond based on engine speed and load. The investment at the Lima Engine Plant continues Ford’s move to a new cost-effective and quality-enhancing global flexible manufacturing system to build powertrains. At Lima, Ford will install a new engine assembly line, a new cylinder-block machining line, a new cylinder-head machining line as well as a new crankshaft line.

As part of the new cylinder-head machining area, Ford will install a series of “flexible” computer-numerically controlled (CNC) machines to manufacture the engine’s cylinder head. Ford also will convert its existing flexible manufacturing equipment at Lima to build crankshafts for the new V-6 engine.

“We are building a network of lean and flexible powertrain plants around the world that can respond quickly to changing market needs, while improving quality and manufacturing efficiency,” said Roman Krygier, group vice president, Global Manufacturing and Quality, Ford Motor Company. “The launch of this new V6 will further our push into flexible manufacturing, helps us reduce costs and ensures a bright future for the Lima Engine Plant.”

Krygier said that the Lima, Ohio plant was chosen to produce the new V-6 engine because of its strong workforce and reputation for building high-quality engines. The plant has received numerous quality awards from Ford management.

“We truly have a world-class workforce here in Lima, dedicated to building high-quality engines,” said Jan Allman, plant manager of Lima Engine. “This new V-6 engine ensures we have a strong future here and a strong future for our workforce. We are also proud that later this year we will build our 36-millionth engine, our 10-millionth 3.0-litre V6 and our 200,000th 3.9-litre V8.”

Connect with Autos.ca