Ford adds 60 jobs at Cleveland-area engine plant

BROOK PARK, Ohio (AP) — The Ford Motor Co. announced Friday that it is investing $155 million and adding 60 jobs at an engine plant in suburban Cleveland to build a fuel-efficient V-6 engine for the 2011 Mustang.

The engine built at Cleveland Engine Plant No. 1 is expected to lead its class in fuel efficiency with 30 miles per gallon on the highway and 305 horsepower, the Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker said.

“Ford is absolutely committed to delivering class-leading fuel efficiency with every new vehicle we introduce, and this investment in Cleveland provides further proof,” said Bill Russo, director of manufacturing for Ford’s powertrain operations.

Derrick Kuzak, group vice president for global product development, said the 3.7-liter engine “uses premium technology to deliver the power, the feel, the fuel efficiency, even the sound of the best sports coupes in the world.”

The news from Ford continues a recent string of heartening announcements for an Ohio auto industry battered by layoffs and plant closings.

On Tuesday, General Motors Corp. said it would add 1,200 jobs this summer to create a third shift at the Chevrolet Cruze compact car at its Lordstown factory. Last week, GM said it would invest $59 million and add 80 jobs at a plant in Defiance in northwest Ohio.

Ford said it is investing $1.8 billion and adding 1,260 jobs across North America to support nine engines and transmissions for 2011 models.

The Cleveland-area plant is expected to build two-thirds of the engines for the 2011 Mustang. The company is investing $121 million to support development and retooling of assembly systems and systems to manufacture cylinder blocks, heads and crankshafts.

Russo said the plant will be a “hub for the future of Ford powertrains.”

“This facility has the flexibility and the expertise to help us meet customer demands for fun, fuel-efficient vehicles, and it represents the future of advanced manufacturing in North America,” he said.

The company also is investing $34 million for launch and engineering costs.

The plant is one of 11 of Ford’s U.S. factories participating in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Incentives Program, which consists of grants and loans to support the development of advanced technology vehicles and associated components. It reopened in May 2009 after a two-year shutdown to produce a new line of fuel-efficient engines.

The plant was Ford’s first Ohio engine plant in 1951 and has produced more than 35 million engines.

Copyright 2010 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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