Ford Motor (F) will spend $500 million and create 300 jobs to upgrade an Ohio engine plant to make the new 2.7-liter six-cylinder EcoBoost engine for its best-selling F-150 pickup trucks, the company said Friday.
The 2015 F-150 pickup truck will be the first model to use the new engine that will be built at Ford's Lima, Ohio, engine plant.
Ford's F-150 pickup truck is the best-selling vehicle in North America.
Ford's EcoBoost engines are turbocharged and use gasoline direct-injection to provide the power of larger engines.
Ford will have four engine options for its next-generation F-150 pickup trucks, as it does now, but with the introduction of the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6, it will no longer offer the 6.2-liter V8.
Ford said that its smaller engines are more efficient and provide the power of larger ones while achieving better fuel economy.
For the first time, Ford will have automatic start-stop as a standard feature on F-150 models with the 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine. %VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%Start-stop technology shuts the engine when the vehicle is stopped for short periods such as at traffic signals, in order to save fuel.
The four types of engines Ford will use in the 2015 F-150 pickup trucks are a 3.5-liter V6, the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6, a 5-liter V8 and a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6.
Ford's 6.2-liter V8 engine has accounted for only 5 percent of F-150 sales of the 2014 model, while the 5-liter V8 has accounted for 38 percent.
The best-selling engine at 38 percent in the current model F-150 is the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, said Kristina Adamski, spokeswoman at Ford.
Six-cylinder engines have made up 57 percent of F-150 sales for the current model year, she said.
The Lima Engine Plant now has about 700 workers who make current versions of Ford's 3.5-liter and 3.7-liter V6 engines for a range of models including the Edge crossover vehicle and the Explorer SUV.
The new jobs at Lima will be added over the next several years. The plant currently has about 900 hourly and salaried workers. United Auto Worker union members from other Ford plants will be given the chance to transfer to Lima and then any new hires will receive the entry-level starting wage of $15.78 an hour, which is about 60 percent of what veteran Ford assembly plant workers make.
9 Numbers That'll Tell You How the Economy's Really Doing
New Ford Engine to Add 300 Jobs at Ohio Plant
The gross domestic product measures the level of economic activity within a country. To figure the number, the Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the total consumption of goods and services by private individuals and businesses; the total investment in capital for producing goods and services; the total amount spent and consumed by federal, state, and local government entities; and total net exports. It's important, because it serves as the primary gauge of whether the economy is growing or not. Most economists define a recession as two or more consecutive quarters of shrinking GDP.
The CPI measures current price levels for the goods and services that Americans buy. The Bureau of Labor Statistics collects price data on a basket of different items, ranging from necessities like food, clothing and housing to more discretionary expenses like eating out and entertainment. The resulting figure is then compared to those of previous months to determine the inflation rate, which is used in a variety of ways, including cost-of-living increases for Social Security and other government benefits.
The unemployment rate measures the percentage of workers within the total labor force who don't have a job, but who have looked for work in the past four weeks, and who are available to work. Those temporarily laid off from their jobs are also included as unemployed. Yet as critical as the figure is as a measure of how many people are out of work and therefore suffering financial hardship from a lack of a paycheck, one key item to note about the unemployment rate is that the number does not reflect workers who have stopped looking for work entirely. It's therefore important to look beyond the headline numbers to see whether the overall workforce is growing or shrinking.
The trade deficit measures the difference between the value of a nation's imported and exported goods. When exports exceed imports, a country runs a trade surplus. But in the U.S., imports have exceeded exports consistently for decades. The figure is important as a measure of U.S. competitiveness in the global market, as well as the nation's dependence on foreign countries.
Each month, the Bureau of Economic Analysis measures changes in the total amount of income that the U.S. population earns, as well as the total amount they spend on goods and services. But there's a reason we've combined them on one slide: In addition to being useful statistics separately for gauging Americans' earning power and spending activity, looking at those numbers in combination gives you a sense of how much people are saving for their future.
Consumers play a vital role in powering the overall economy, and so measures of how confident they are about the economy's prospects are important in predicting its future health. The Conference Board does a survey asking consumers to give their assessment of both current and future economic conditions, with questions about business and employment conditions as well as expected future family income.
The health of the housing market is closely tied to the overall direction of the broader economy. The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, named for economists Karl Case and Robert Shiller, provides a way to measure home prices, allowing comparisons not just across time but also among different markets in cities and regions of the nation. The number is important not just to home builders and home buyers, but to the millions of people with jobs related to housing and construction.
Most economic data provides a backward-looking view of what has already happened to the economy. But the Conference Board's Leading Economic Index attempts to gauge the future. To do so, the index looks at data on employment, manufacturing, home construction, consumer sentiment, and the stock and bond markets to put together a complete picture of expected economic conditions ahead.