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Ford replacing 6.8L V10 “Triton” truck engine with new 7.0L V8


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Windsor Star  /  November 7, 2016

Ford Motor Co., will invest $613 million in its Windsor plants to launch a new global 7.0-litre engine program — the centrepiece of a new four-year tentative agreement that was approved on the weekend by 58 per cent of about 6,700 hourly workers in Ontario.

“It’s really a huge victory for the community of Windsor,” Jerry Dias, Unifor national president, said following a ratification meeting Sunday for about 1,400 members of Local 200, who voted 88.7 per cent in favour of the deal.

“It’s about giving people who’ve been laid off for so many years opportunities,” he said of the 280 members who remain off the job. “We really hit a home run in 2016 bargaining.”

As of 7:45 p.m. Sunday, the results of Local 707 in Oakville were unavailable. The Windsor office units  represented by Local 240 voted 97 per cent in favour, while Local 1324 in Bramalea had 100 per cent approval.

Under the deal, the new program will be installed at the Ford’s Annex facility, which produces cylinder heads for the Windsor Engine and Essex Engine plants. It is designed to replace the 6.8-litre V-10 engine assembled at the Windsor Engine plant, and will power Ford’s top-selling vehicles, such as the F-150 pickup, said Dias.

“It’s more fuel efficient, smaller, lighter, with more torque, more horsepower. It’s a big deal.”

The new engine “will supply next-generation, high-volume products planned for the 2020 model year.”

The 600 workers at Windsor Engine will continue to build the 6.8-litre over the life of the deal, and will be eventually be integrated into production of the new engine program.

The Essex Engine plant, which employs about 800 workers, has been designated as “the sole source for all 5.0-litre engine assembly and any potential derivatives based on its platform.” That engine program will receive “significant technology upgrades.”

“We still have a ton of open floor room at Essex Engine that one day hopefully we can do something with,” said Chris Taylor, president of Local 200. “The Annex right now has open floor space; there’s just old, redundant equipment.”

Ford also has committed to spending another $100 million at the Oakville vehicle assembly plant for mid-cycle upgrades of the Ford Edge and MKX crossovers.

Ford of Canada said the “globally competitive” deal ensures “a strong future for our employees, our customers and our communities.”

“This competitive agreement with Unifor enables Ford of Canada to further strengthen its business and positions the Canadian operations for future success,” Steve Majer, vice-president of human resources, said in a statement.  “Ford continues to speak with the federal and Ontario governments to ensure long-term sustainability for Canada’s auto manufacturing sector.”

Earlier in the day, ratification votes were held for members of Local 707, which represents about 5,000 hourly workers at the Oakville plant.

The new agreement, was modelled after pattern agreements recently reached with General Motors and Fiat Chrysler.

Unlike the Windsor Local 200 meeting, which showered the bargaining committees with sustained applause, the Oakville session was rancorous.

“People have the right to express their point of view, and they certainly did just as they did in Windsor,” said Dias.

The Oakville union, which represents a majority of Ford’s unionized workers, opposed the GM pattern because it kept new hires on a 10-year pay grid. The rift prompted the Windsor local to issue a public statement a day before the Oct. 31 strike deadline that a strike could prompt Ford to move its plants out of Canada.

Dias said Sunday Ford had presented the union with an exit strategy, that included moving its export vehicles from Oakville to its plant in China.

“All of the export vehicles were gone within three months; that would mean between 800 and 1,000 jobs,” said Dias. “To quote Ford, they were going to drop a nuclear bomb on Oakville over the life of the agreement if, in fact, they went on strike.”

Ford was the last of the Detroit Three automakers to ratify a new contract with Unifor, which made new product investment the top issue in bargaining.

And it was Ford’s investment commitment in Windsor that prompted workers such as Jay Hillis to give the tentative deal the thumbs up.

“I voted absolutely yes,” said Hillis, a 28-year veteran at the Windsor Engine plant.

“It brings a lot of product to Windsor and job security for at least 10 years, and that’s what we need right now,” he said. “It’s a good pattern all the way around.”

In all, Unifor secured about $1.5 billion in new investment from the Detroit Three, with the bulk slated for Windsor.

The union’s agreement with Fiat Chrysler secured $323 million in new spending, while its deal with General Motors promised $554 million in investment.

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Good to see the "modular" V10 finally getting retired, it was never intended to be a medium truck engine to begin with.

Then again, you have to wonder why anybody would tool up a new V-8 today... But nowhere does Ford say that this is a V8. But a 7 liter inline 6 would have fitment problems in light trucks, and one wonders if the market for a 7 liter gas engine is big enough to justify the tooling, even with gasous fuel conversions included. But then again, Ford never said it was just a gas engine... Think I'll wander over to media.ford.com etc. in search of those devilish details.

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