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

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
fords confirms canadian jobs while everyone else speculates over a new truck engine

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.]

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3 of 14 comments
  • 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.

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