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Ford to build 2m engines a year in UK by 2009

Ford of Europe says it is now reaping the benefits of its three-year, £890 million investment in flexible manufacturing facilities at its two UK engine plants.

By 2009, Ford will be building approximately two million engines a year in Britain, with output split evenly between its Bridgend and Dagenham engine plants. The combined plants are on track to produce nearly 1.3 million engines this year.

"Flexible technology is the key to this growth, enabling us to produce more than one type of engine on the same assembly line," said John Fleming, president and CEO, Ford of Europe. "It allows us to respond quickly and efficiently to changing customer demands."

The Bridgend plant produces petrol engines, from the 1.25 litre Zetec SE for the Ford Fiesta, to the AJ V8 series engines for Land Rovers and Jaguars. The Dagenham Diesel Centre makes engines ranging from the 1.8 litre TDCi for Ford Focus, Focus C-MAX, Transit Connect and Galaxy, to a new 3.6 litre V8.

Both plants introduced new, premium engines earlier this year. Dagenham Diesel Centre launched a V8 diesel engine, and Bridgend began manufacturing a new 3.2 litre 6-cylinder power unit.

More than £12.2 million was invested at Dagenham in the development and manufacture of the twin-turbo 3.6-litre V8 engine, bringing the total invested to £644.2 million since the facility became Ford's diesel ‘centre of excellence’ in 2003.

In addition to Bridgend and Dagenham, Ford of Europe has engine plants in Valencia (Spain) and Cologne (Germany), as well as a joint venture facility in Inonu (Turkey), producing engines for vehicles in Europe, North America and other markets. Last year, those plants produced more than 570,000 engines.

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