More than 57% of Ford Motor Company’s F-150 retail sales so far this year are powered by V6 engines—the highest six-cylinder engine mix in the industry since 1967. Ford expects that trend to continue for the rest of the year.
V8 engines led truck sales for decades until recently. Over the last three years, retail registrations of light duty pickups powered by V6 engines grew more than 600%; F-150 was directly responsible for 91% of that growth, based on Ford analysis of Polk retail registration data. In 2013, Ford accounted for 78% of all V6-powered half-ton pickups, according to data from Polk, recently acquired by IHS.
February’s engine mix numbers come on the heels of a very strong demand for Ford’s V6 truck engines in 2013. Of all the trucks Ford sold in the calendar year, more than 48% of them were powered by a V6 engine.
We expect those numbers to hold for the rest of the year. It really is amazing when you consider we are doing that with just two V6 engine choices—the 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost and the 3.7-liter Ti-VCT V6 engine. When we come out with the new 2015 F-150, we will offer three different V6 engines, so the potential is there to go even higher.—Doug Scott, Ford Truck marketing manager
The new 2015 Ford F-150 will offer a new 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine, to be made in Lima, Ohio, in addition to the 3.7-liter Ti-VCT V6 and 3.5-liter EcoBoost engines. (Earlier post.)
Ford is investing $500 million to add 300 jobs and to upgrade the Lima Engine Plant to support production of the new 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine for the 2015 F-150. Lima Engine Plant currently produces the 3.5-liter and 3.7-liter Duratec V6 engines for multiple Ford vehicles including Edge and Explorer utilities, as well as the Lincoln MKX crossover, MKT utility and MKZ sedan. The $500 million investment will go to a new flexible engine assembly system and renovation of 700,000 square feet of the facility for machining and assembly functions.
The high-output, twin-turbo 2.7-liter V6 EcoBoost with standard Auto Start-Stop features an entirely new design that delivers power and performance in a stronger, smarter package.
The engine uses a compacted graphite iron engine block, the same material used in Ford’s 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbo-diesel V8. The composite of compacted graphite iron and aluminum saves weight while providing strength where it’s needed most for durability.
In the three years since Ford launched the 3.5-liter EcoBoost in F-150, the company has sold more than 2 million EcoBoost-powered vehicles; EcoBoost is now the most recognized fuel-efficient engine among consumers. Ford sells approximately 100,000 EcoBoost vehicles monthly around the world, equating to roughly one out of five Ford vehicles sold.
Ford says that in the last three years, no Ford competitor has passed a 20% take rate for V6 engines in half-ton trucks; it’s been a predominantly V8, until the introduction of Ford’s EcoBoost engine.