SOURCE: Just-Auto.comUK: Ford targets 1m Dagenham diesels
16 May 2007 | Source: just-auto.com editorial team
Ford on Wednesday confirmed what just-auto reported a week ago: its Dagenham facility is on target for an annual output of 1,000,000 engines thanks to two production landmarks this year.
The wind-powered Dagenham Diesel Centre (DDC) is celebrating the successful launch of a new line to produce low-carbon 1.4 and 1.6-litre Duratorq TDCi turbo diesel engines - the result of a GBP130m investment programme.
Production of the larger engine is now under way, with the 1.4-litre unit to be added in June. These high technology diesel engines power the most fuel efficient versions of the Fiesta, Fusion, Focus and the C-Max and are also used in Ford's Volvo and Mazda models and PSA's Peugeots and Citroens.
Ford said the additional production capacity at Dagenham is needed to satisfy rising demand for the high technology diesel engines that are part of the ongoing cooperative agreement between itself and PSA Peugeot Citroën. Around 250 extra assembly operators to date were employed at DDC for the start of production.
Total engine production output on the Ford Dagenham estate will rise to 1,000,000 units a year by 2009 with the addition of these engines. By then 1.4 and 1.6-litre production capacity will be 575,000. The balance will be accounted for by the estate's existing 1.8, 2.0, 2.2 and 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine ranges, plus the 2.7-litre V6 diesel engine for Jaguar, Land_Rover and PSA Peugeot Citroën and the 3.6-litre V8 diesel engine produced for Jaguar and Land Rover.
The 1.4 and 1.6-litre units will be built in the DDC's clean room assembly hall, which boasts the sterile conditions required to produce today's high-tech diesel engines. Air supply to the hall is filtered and controlled to minimise airborne dust particles that could interfere with engine assembly.
Dave Parker, plant manager, said: "This new engine output for Ford Dagenham reinforces that Britain is a good place to do manufacturing business. Key to this success story has been the teamwork which secured this multi-million pound investment and then got production started in record time."
In a Fiesta, the new 1.6-litre engine produces only 116g of CO2 per kilometre. Drivers' shift to diesel cars led to a 24% rise last year in engine assembly at Dagenham - Ford's global centre for diesel engineering and manufacture.