By on February 28, 2013

Ford’s plan to ramp up production of their Ecoboost engines may negatively impact the Blue Oval’s Essex engine plant in Windsor, Ontario.

The Essex plant, which currently employes 800 workers and operates with three shifts, is in danger of moving to two shifts as Ford’s V8 engines are increasingly replaced by the forced-induction 4-cylinder engines. Essex produces the 5.0L V8 engine used in the F-150 and the Mustang.

According to the Windsor Star, the Canadian Auto Workers union says that the total volume of engines isn’t expected to decrease for 2013, but the next-generation Mustang’s likely move to an Ecoboost powertrain could bring lower demand for the V8. The addition of an Ecoboost Mustang is expected to increase its profile across the Ford lineup, with 95 percent of Ford’s cars offering it as an option (up from 90 percent currently).

On the bright side, the V8 doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Despite the Ecoboost’s popularity, a majority of F-Series buyers opt for the V8, – heavy-duty vehicles still rely on the naturally aspirated V8 for their motivation, while the Ecoboost makes up 40 percent of F-150 sales (V6s account for 53 percent overall). Meanwhile, Ford’s Oakville plant, which assembles the Edge and Flex crossovers, is slated to get an all-new global platform and add hundreds of jobs (largely composed of previously laid-off workers).

But nothing is a given with respect to Ontario’s auto manufacturing sector, and even though strong F-150 sales are keeping the Essex plant busy, nobody ever expected Oshawa to lose their truck plant either.

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42 Comments on “Ecoboost May Put The Squeeze On Ford’s Canadian Engine Plants...”


  • avatar
    DenverMike

    At least we’ll have F-150s to replace pony cars.
    It’s better than nothing, but if the Europeans don’t want a V8 Mustang GT, that’s fine. Give them diesel Focus GT and we’ll keep Mustangs, including the 5.0 option, for ourselves.

    gas2.org/2010/04/06/turbo-diesel-mustang-for-europe-maybe-some-day/.

  • avatar
    lowsodium

    Give me the 5.0 na anyday over the ecoboost v6. That V6 is going to be a maintanence headache for people buying them with higher mileage.

  • avatar
    raph

    I doubt an ecoboost four would lower demand for the V8 Mustang, V6 Mustang lovers might have something to worry about though – I suspect in that case the change would be a welcomed one as the ecoboost would be seen as a higher tech lighter weight more effcient better alternative to the V6 even if that isn’t the case (what does an ecoboost I4 weigh?)

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      Yep. Look at the Fox body. While the GT gets all the thunder the SVO has a very devoted following. I don’t see the turbo canabalizing a lot of the GT sales. I think it expands the base of folks who would consider a Mustang though.

  • avatar
    RS

    The F150 engine line-up may soon look like the upcoming Transit line-up:

    3.7L V6
    3.5L V6 EcoBoost
    3.2L I5 Turbo Diesel

    It’s hard to imagine the New Mustang without a V8, but it wouldn’t totally surprise me either.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      The 3.7 is dead engine running. Don’t expect 3.7 on the next Mustang or F-150. The Mustang will see a 4 cylinder ecoboost along with an Ecoboost V6. The F-150 will have a smaller Ecoboost V6 along with the 3.5 and 5.0.

      The 3.7 may be a hold over in the 2015 F-150 and Mustang because thats how Ford rolls. Holdover powertrains happen often with new models. I don’t expect the 3.7 to stay around for long in the Transit. It’s a US only stopgap.

    • 0 avatar
      gregrnel

      The v8 stang is staying, that breathless 3.7 will be replaced by an ecoboost 4, sorry I test drove a v6 stang and it felt lifeless compared to my old school 2005 4.6….

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        The power delivery is very different. The standard rear axle on the V6 Mustang is a 2.73, while the 3.31 is available as an option, and helps a lot. The 3.7 V6 doesn’t have the same low down torque as the old 4.6 V8, or really even the old 4.0 V6, but while the 4.0 ran out of steam pretty early in the rev range, the 3.7 really comes alive over 4,500 rpm.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    If you kill off the V8 Mustangs, Ford, please immediately kill off the entire line (namesake) and let die with some dignity. Without the V8 it’ll die a slow, painfully agonizing death…

    Ford Probe??? I know it was FWD, and if the Mustang was suddenly FWD, most buyers wouldn’t care or even notice. But in the end, it’s the V8 Mustang GT’s bad boy rep that sells base Mustangs.

    • 0 avatar
      thesal

      While I agree with the love of V8s (I have a V8 GT), I feel like the “muscle car” as people between 30-60 know it will slowly fade away. A lot of the muscle car emotion/nostalgia is build on the bad ass bruisers of old. However, those of us who remember them are fading away and a new definition of badass is/has been in the pipeline. We no longer need to live in a world where straight line comes at the compromise of cornering in a street car. The newer of car guys want to cut their cake and eat it too…

      I saw the end when I read a comparo between the last Mustang Bullit Edition and a Subaru STI. Please give it a google. I rooted for the ‘stang the whole way through, but the whooshie-family-hatch creamed the Mustang in every objective test. It left me wondering…other than the burble and phallic body style, what’s really left?

      The latest 5.0 has helped recover that ground, but for how long? I know a friend with a mostly stock Mitsubishi Evo 9 (10yr old daily driver) that puts down 330hp+(with a tiny 2.0 turbo) at the wheels and could easily out handle/launch even the latest GT.

      The latest Mustang variants have shown a move towards handling and road course prowess. I believe the “new mustang” will embrace new technology evolve into a more well rounded sportscar, perhaps with turbo V6s or 4s. So long as it’s something that will showcase Ford Engineering’s ability to provide the everyday man with a fast and capable machine, it can still be called a Mustang.

      There was a time when that only refered to straight lines and big noises, but the times, they are a changin…

      Edit: Some words were missed

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Pray for a direct injected 5.0. There are plenty of mules with that engine out there.

        As for the Bullit Mustang, that was 5 years ago. The 4.6 had less HP than the current 3.7 V6. As for the EVO and STI, they are priced above Mustang GT territory and almost into Boss 302 territory.

      • 0 avatar
        let_that_pony_gallop

        I think the “muscle car” as baby boomers knew it died with the Camaro in the early 2000′s. Both the current Mustang and Camaro straddle the line between sports car and muscle car, and the boss and 1LE push right over that line into a sports car. Today the only thing on the market I would consider a muscle car would be the Challenger/Charger, and even those are beginning to straddle that line. As far as Turbo ^S and 4s I personally would much rather take a N/A V8 with already strong power, and add something such as a turbo myself. Cars turbocharged from the factory already have more of the potential of the powertrain tapped, while a N/A vehicle leaves a ton of untapped potential.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @thesal – The STI and EVO did a fair job of embarrassing the old generation of Mustangs GTs, and I hope they enjoyed that while it lasted. They’re running with V6 Mustangs now.

        Oh well, those AWDs are based on econo compacts that can’t really take a constant hammering like Mustang GTs. Mod those tiny screaming engines and… I don’t know. Whatever.

        That old 4.6 Mustang did get better MPG than those hot compacts and the new 5.0 just tops that.

        The Boss 302 just shows what Mustangs are capable of with minor mods. Like running with the big boys. It’s not news to the rest of us.

        I’d still take a V6 Mustang over any of those hot compacts any day. They just don’t attract me in the least. They’re loud, obnoxious and have street racing subculture look to them.

      • 0 avatar
        Mykl

        Not really the case anymore with the STEVO. The Mustang GT is on a very equal, if not superior footing to the boost buggies these days. Yeah, in the 2004 to 2007-ish time frame those cars were hard to beat, but after years of stagnation without substantial improvements the pony cars have closed the gap and started leaving those cars behind.

        When I bought my 2004 STi years ago it was one of the best performance bargains on the market. Among the fastest cars for the price, and faster than cars costing thousands more. These days…… not so much. Give me a GT or an SS for that.

    • 0 avatar
      ranwhenparked

      OK, let’s just stop this rumor once and for all. NOBODY is getting rid of the V8 Mustang. Ford is just going back to the kind of engine lineup that the Mustang offered in the 1980s – 4, 6, and 8 cylinders instead of just 6 or 8 currently. There will be an EcoBoost I4 on the entry level that produces as much power as an old V6, the current 3.7L V6 that already produces as much (or more) hp as an older V8, and the V8 will stay as an even more potent option.

      Frankly, I’d love for them to do an EcoBoost V6 in the car too, but I’d guess they’d be really afraid of that treading on the V8′s toes a bit too much.

      All that’s happening is that the next Mustang will get a badly needed IRS, drop a couple of hundred pounds of curb weight, get a better interior that’s more in line with the quality of Ford’s recent models, ditch the dead-end retro styling for a crisper, more contemporary look, and add the twin turbo 4 as the base engine to complement the 6 and 8. It’s still going to be on a reworked version of the current D2C platform and is still going to be RWD and longitudinal engined. The next model will likely survive through the early 2020s before it gets another major redesign.

  • avatar
    let_that_pony_gallop

    I dont see the Coyote V8 going away anytime soon.I cant belive that Ford would spend all that money on R&D for an entirely new powertrain, only to use it for 4 model years in only one lower volume platform.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      The F-150 is a “lower volume platform?”

      • 0 avatar
        let_that_pony_gallop

        I forgot the F-150 was using the 5.0, but most components in the f-150 version are different from the mustang version. The block and a few other components are really the only things that carry over. When I said lower volume I was specfically speaking about the Mustang variant, which is a lower volume vehicle (70k a yr VS 200k+ a yr for a car such as the camary).

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    If Ford kills of the Mustang (I doubt), Ford has Australian FPV Falcons with supercharged and normally aspirated V8s that could help alleviate a shortfall in that area. These vehicle are sedans (or ute) also which makes them more flexible.

    There would be a market in the US for sedan and ute style performance vehicles.

    It would be a shame to see the Mustang go, but they could use a eco-boost in one and get the same performance and probably better handling.

    Nothing is forever, changes occur.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Isn’t the Falcon platform going to die?

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        I have heard the Falcon is going to die, that’s a pity. I don’t think it fits into Fords global plan.

        Changes are inevitable, even if Ford did drop the Mustang the name would come back after a generation. The name is of value to Ford.

        • 0 avatar
          Eyeflyistheeye

          I don’t think you understand that the Mustang is a far more important car to Ford than the Falcon.

          While it’s obvious that Ford can go without making a car called the Falcon or making any car in Australia for that matter, the Mustang is Ford’s global image car and they will continue to make a coupe and call it a Mustang no matter if they have to derive it from a Taurus, a Focus or even an F-150.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Eyeflyistheeye
            Did I say that? Did I infer that?

            I wrote that I doubt the Mustang would be dropped. So what other rear wheel drive muscle car has Ford got if it did get dropped tomorrow? A Falcon GT?

            If you read the post above yours I also indicated the demise of the Falcon by agreeing with bball40dtw.

            The NA is the only place that a Mustang has the kind of significance that you describe.

            The Mustang is known worldwide, but it only has a cult following outside of NA. Just like a VW Beetle.

            I do know in the UK a HSV is more revered than a Mustang.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    My suspicion is that most of the Ecoboost proliferation will be GTDI 4 cylinders replacing 6 cylinders. The 5.0L will stay in the Mustang, but the base engine will likely be a GTDI 4 cylinder instead of the 3.7L V6.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      There will be a number of new ecoboost engines coming out in the next few years. The next 4 cylinder looks like it is going to be the 2.3 in the Focus RS and probably Mustang. If the V6 Mustang continues, it would be in the form of the 2.6/2.7, 3.0, or 3.5 ecoboost. Those are the possible candidates for the F-150 (with the 3.5 already in the lineup). Engines aren’t 100% firmed up yet, expect smaller turbo V6s, and in some cases turbo 4 cylinder engines, to replace the Duratec 3.5/3.7 in most applications.

    • 0 avatar

      I would agree with this assessment but a part of me, deep in my car guy lizard brain, wants a 3.5 EB Mustang…

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        I think you will find Ford testing the waters with the EB in the next gen Mustang along with the 5.0. If the take rate is really good the V8 might be in jeopardy. Just look at the take rate of the EB in the F150. Who would have predicted that? Bit if buyers balk, or if there are enough takers to keep the V8 line running in worthwhile numbers the eight will stay. I for one can’t imagine no V8 potion for the Mustang. But I am from the trailing edge of the old school…

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Derek, a 3.5 Ecoboost Mustang is my wish too. The power delivery in the Taurus SHO is so immediate and linear. A new, more refined Mustang with a 6 speed would be a perfect match.

        • 0 avatar
          NulloModo

          Even better the Mustang could use the RWD optimized Ti-VCT version of the 3.5 EB that’s found in the F-150, which can put out a lot more power than the variable-intake-cam-only version found in the Taurus SHO.

          Tuned for max HP instead of low-end torque the 3.5 EB should easily be capable of well over 400hp in the twin-independent variable cam timing RWD version.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The 3.5 EB is the SHO is seriously detuned because the transmission can’t handle the torque. That engine has all kinds of power ratings based on the application. I’m sure if it was in the Mustang, Ford would make it touch 400 hp.

        • 0 avatar
          ellomdian

          I realize it’s a pipe dream, but I really wish they would figure a sexy version of the Taurus SHO in coupe format. Here’s quietly hoping that the CTS coupe sells well enough to justify the business case to Ford – I would be surprised if they didn’t have a test model or 2 rolling around.

          Hell, call it a Lincoln. MMMmmm, up-market Mustang replacement with AWD. E63 AMG Coupe eat your heart out.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    What would really be nice would be if Ford took the ancient turd of a 5.4L out of the Expedition and put the 5.0L in. There is not a single good reason to have the 5.4 vs the 5.0. Most of the Expedition’s problems stem from it’s lack of power and poor fuel efficiency, this is a quick and great fix.

    Also, a Lincoln MKFusion with the 5.0L and AWD would be an M3 Killer.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Its getting the 3.5. Dealers are lighting prayer candles for the arrival of a refreshed Expedition and Navigator with the 5.0.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        I don’t know if the MKZ will get the 3.5. I’m thinking the soon to be announced small displacement (rumored to be a 2.9 liter) EcoBoost V6 would be more likely, with a retuned version of the 3.5 EB remaining under the hood of the next MKS.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Nullo, I meant the Expedition/Navigator will be getting the 3.5 EB. The MKZ and MKS will eventually see an EB replacement for the 3.7. The most likely are the 2.6/2.7 or 3.0 EB V6.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Mandalorian
      Nice way to describe an engine, but the Big 3 will rationalise their V8 engine lineups. I have read on the Fiat spa site that there will end up being 1 Hemi V8, I have read somewhere Ford will rationalise their V8 engine lineup as well.

      Why waste money building V8s, there market share will decrease.

  • avatar
    dougjp

    I thought the 5.0 in the new version Mustang was supposed to get direct injection and therefore higher power and mileage. This could even cause higher demand. And they would need to do this to widen the gap vs. the lower end Mustang, likely an ecoboost instead of the V6.

    • 0 avatar
      let_that_pony_gallop

      The DI 5oh is just speculation at this point, nothing official has been said by ford. Rumors have been circling the net for a while, including an article on this very site a year or two back. http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/08/editorial-do-not-buy-a-2011-mustang-5-0/ the only thing offical Ford has said on the next gen ‘stang is that it will have the EVO’s concept DNA, and that it will be IRS

  • avatar

    I’m really excited for the new F-150!

  • avatar
    jim brewer

    You know the ‘breathless’ 3.7L makes more hp than the “Bullit” Mustang. I mean the one in the movie. I’ve decided I like the muffled “angry hornet” sound and 7,000 rpm, and 18 mpg (city F-150 regular cab) just fine.


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