A £24 Million investment in Ford’s Bridgend Engine Plant was announced today.
Half of the money will come from the Welsh Government and it will safeguard 536 jobs with production of a new generation 1.5 litre EcoBoost petrol engine from 2014 for future Ford models around the world.
The investment is part of Ford’s previously announced £1.5 Billion spend on research, development and manufacture of low-CO2 engines and Bridgend builds 2,668 four-cylinder engines a day for global delivery to vehicle assembly plants.
Today’s announcement secures the plant as the European long-term source for the new engine and means guaranteed work for a very long time.
This year will see employment in Bridgend Engine Plant rise to 2,300 people, the highest in its 33-years history. Last year it shipped 742,494 engines.
The new 1.5 EcoBoost will be build alongside the 1.6 EcoBoost introduced in 2011 and it is the first new engine to incorporate a computer controlled clutch on the belt-driven water pump to improve efficiency during warm up and it is also fitted with a water-cooled charge air cooler for higher efficiency air induction.
BEP also assembles over 700 V6 and V8 engines a day for Jaguar Land Rover luxury models and the new V6 petrol units are used in the latest Jaguar F-Type sports car which has just been launched. Latest Ford to get the 1.6 EcoBoost from Bridgend is the Fiesta ST, and the UK launch for this model is in South Wales this week.
Welsh Government Minister for Economy, Edwina Hart, visited the plant and said, “This will help safeguard and create high quality production and engineering jobs in Wales.”
Ford of Britain managing director Mark Ovenden added, “The Welsh Government has greatly assisted in maximising the full potential of Ford’s own investment in Bridgend.”