Increased output at Ford Bridgend has propelled the Welsh engine plant past its 15 millionth engine milestone.
Vehicle scrappage schemes introduced across Europe powered the facility towards its production landmark early. The customer incentive programmes offer a new car discount against old trade ins and have triggered additional shifts at Ford Bridgend.
The plant, which started production in 1980, specialises in engines for Ford's small and medium cars, which are both favoured by scrappage schemes and are enjoying higher sales as drivers switch to smaller, more economic models.
Ford Bridgend's four-cylinder engine family comprises 1.25, 1.4 and 1.6-litre versions. Bridgend's 15 millionth engine overall milestone coincided with the five millionth current four cylinder since its production began in 1998.
In the new Ford Fiesta - the UK's top selling car - a 1.25-litre engine produces over 51mpg. The Ford Focus returns almost 43mpg when specified with a Bridgend-built 1.4 power unit, while the 1.6 petrol Ford Mondeo boasts almost 40mpg fuel economy.
Ford production accounts for around 80 per cent of Bridgend's output, with the balance comprising six and eight-cylinder engines for Volvo and Jaguar Land Rover.
Graham Edwards, Bridgend plant manager, said: "All of our engine families are vital to Ford Bridgend. In these tough times it's refreshing to report good news, with extra production scheduled last month and again in September to keep up with demand. The plant's outlook is positive too following this month's announcement that our 1.6 EcoBoost debuts in the new Ford C-MAX next year."
At the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show Ford showed its new generation of EcoBoost high-efficiency low-CO2 petrol engines. From mid-2010 Bridgend will build the 1.6 version, featuring direct petrol injection, turbocharging and twin variable valve timing technology to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 20 per cent compared to today's equivalent engines.
Production volumes were up by 18.3 per cent year-on-year at Bridgend last month.
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