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Ford gives £100m boost to Bridgend engine plant

AFTER AN investment of £100m, the Bridgend engine plant of Ford has started production of a new premium 3.2-litre six-cylinder power unit.

The S16 will first be used in the Volvo S80 and freshened XC90 SUV. Other applications will be announced later.

A further 250 recruits will be needed at the plant over the next 2-years.

Annual volumes of the all-alloy, 24-valve 3.2-litre SI6 at full capacity will be 209,000. This is in addition to Bridgend's 78,100 annual V8 output on the same line.

The plant will be producing a total of 1m engines a year by 2009.Output at Ford Dagenham, in Essex, is also on track to top a million engines a year, bringing Ford's total UK engine production up to two million units a year.

John Fleming, Ford of Europe president and chief executive officer, said: "The Ford Bridgend team has displayed dedication and determination on the SI6 project. I am proud and impressed by an operation which has cornered our petrol engine market in the UK - producing high technology powertrains with capacities ranging from 1.25 to 4.4-litres."

The Rt Hon Rhodri Morgan, first minister of Wales, attended this morning's ceremony which started volume production of the all-new engine.
SOURCE: Autowired
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