Ford's Confirms Canadian Jobs While Everyone Else Speculates Over a New Truck Engine

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Ford Motor Co. seems to be making plans to announce the production of a new engine in Windsor, Ontario — or at least that’s the buzz from insider sources.

We already knew the venerable V10 the company manufactures for use in its trucks and cutaway incarnations of the Econoline would be ending production sometime within the next four years.

That successor is now believed to possess fewer cylinders, a larger displacement, and be named “the 7X platform.”

Early accounts are conflicted, but the motor is most likely a gas-burning 6.9-liter V8 offering additional torque and improved economy against the 6.8-liter V10. Ford declined to comment on the powerplant’s details. Fortunately, the Canadian government was willing to throw everyone a bone. Albeit a small one.

Globe and Mail initially reported Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would be announcing the new engine platform at the at the Essex Engine Plant in Windsor, Ontario, on Thursday morning. Additional sources confirmed this with Reuters, adding that Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of the Americas, and Mark Buzzell, CEO of Ford of Canada, would also be present.

At the event, Trudeau said Ontario’s forthcoming $102.4 million investment into The Blue Oval’s Windsor plants would result in an all-new global engine program resulting in new powertrains. The stimulus is designed to supplement Ford Canada’s own $1.2 billion investment and bolster the country’s auto industry after years of job losses to Mexico and the U.S.

“Today’s investments will help create and maintain almost 800 great jobs for Canadians in Windsor and across Ontario, while equipping Canadians with the skills they need to design and build the cars of the future,” Trudeau said. “This is about positioning Canada as a global centre for automotive innovation, creating better opportunities for Canadians, and keeping Canada’s automotive manufacturing sector competitive.”

Ford was a little less forthcoming, hinting that $500 million of its own money is slated specifically for its new Research and Engineering Centre in Ottawa, with the remaining funds earmarked to update the Windsor engine facilities’ R&D programs. However, it did not outline any specific products, comment on future platforms, or mention the X7 by name.

That has not stopped everyone else from talking about it.

Brian Maxim, a vice president at AutoForecast Solutions, told Reuters he expects Ford to produce at least 125,000 units of the new engine per year for commercial use, starting in 2019 — though Maxim called it a 7.0 liter, not a 6.9-liter V8.

Whatever ends up anchored under the hood of Ford’s heaviest haulers, it’ll continue to be produced in Canada. Ford’s $1.2 billion investment upholds its November deal with Unifor to commit resources toward the Canadian auto industry and ensure future employment for its members.

“Unifor went into talks with the Detroit Three with one goal in mind — secure investment in the Canadian auto industry to ensure good jobs for future generations,” Unifor National President Jerry Dias said in a statement. “This investment shows the good things that happen for the entire community when there is a voice for working people at the table.”

[Image: Ford Motor Co.]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • RobertRyan RobertRyan on Mar 30, 2017

    @Lou_BC Same here. Maybe Ford's concept of Global is the US and Canada

    • Caboose Caboose on Mar 31, 2017

      That's a plenty big enough market to make money and justify the cost of this kind of platform.

  • Raph Raph on Mar 31, 2017

    Would be real,sweet if Ford ditched the modular engine line. I love my Voodoo V8 but that 100 mm bore spacing has been hurting Ford since the modultrasound platform launched. The Coyote/Voodoo platform is about as far as you can,stretch it. Stock for stock it's okay but outside of that the block nends some help due to the very thin bores. When you really lean on them it takes quirky fixes straps in the valley between the banks and at the extreme end drilling and tapping the block to accept bolts that pass through the water jackets and bear directly on the cylinder liner to keep the cylinder from blowing out as it flexes under boost or nitrous.

  • Ajla Nice car.
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X Not at all.
  • Verbal Here's a little tale about long-term Tesla ownership.In 2017 my buddy bought a three year-old Model S for $68k, which was the going rate at the time. He kept it garaged and treated it with kid gloves. It looked and ran virtually like new. The only problem he ever had with it was some kind of recurring issue with the driver's door handle. He never had to replace the brakes.A couple months ago, at ten years of age, the original battery finally bricked. Tesla quoted him $17k to do a battery replacement. But! If he replaced the battery, they would give him $11k in trade on a new Tesla!!! You don't have to be a math genius to see that those are crooked numbers.Using aftermarket parts is a non starter. Rebuilt batteries can be sketch. And the cap that goes on the battery is a Tesla-only part.Most people don't have $17k burning a hole in their pocket for a car repair. What are you going to do? Ask your credit union for a $17k loan to put a new battery in your ten year-old car? Good luck with that.A local auto recycler quoted him $1000. The recycler said that if he replaced the battery, the car would have a resale value in the low $20k's. That wouldn't give him enough headroom to make it worth his while. He said there are 150,000 dead Teslas in the national inventory (don't know where he gets this figure). And there's no demand for used Tesla parts, since most Tesla owners seem to treat their cars well. So Teslas with dead batteries have marginal scrap value.Thus, my friend's Tesla, with 80k miles on the clock and in excellent condition, with a dead battery, was scrapped. During his ownership, the car depreciated by around $800 a month.He saved a lot of money by not paying for gas, oil changes, tune ups, and consumables. But in the end, all those saving were erased by huge depreciation.Welcome to long term Tesla ownership, folks.(Cue the wailing and rending of garments from the Tesla fanboyz.)
  • Aja8888 My BIL had one of these years ago. great car!
  • Wjtinfwb Job cuts and EV's... is that a winning strategy? You're locked in to substantial labor expense after the UAW agreement signed a few months ago. And EV's ain't exactly flying off the shelves en masse. Get the new Charger out already, it's been teased more than the Bronco and Supra were combined. Get a real Hybrid option out for the RAM trucks and big Jeeps that consumers will buy. Consider bringing back a Gen 3 Hemi with an aluminum block, direct injection and perhaps a Hybrid option to counter the Toyota debacle and get a jump on GM. Dump the Hornet and build Dodge a version of the Jeep Compass they can actually sell. A Dodge with Alfa bones isn't compelling to either brands fans. Fix the Durango's oil cooler problems to avoid alienating police departments nationwide. Do you want every cop in the US driving an Explorer? Freshen up the Pacifica and get Chrysler a cool sedan or wagon that can create a buzz like the 300 did more than a decade ago. And fix your dealers, they are by a large jackasses. Plenty of opportunity for improvement.
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