The Lima News
Ford Motor Company’s promise for a big investment in The Lima Engine Plant came as early as 2011, when the automaker agreed to a contract with the United Auto Workers. At that time, Ford pledged to invest at least $400 million in the plant to add a “new industry-leading small V-6 engine line.”
On Friday, the package was officially delivered — and then some — before an appreciative crowd of Ford employees and community leaders at the Bible Road facility.
Ford not only kept its promise, but it was delivered with 300 additional jobs attached to an investment that now exceeds $500 million. It also puts back to use more than 700,000 square feet of the 57-year-old plant. The engine is being placed in this year’s 2015 model F-150 pickup truck, which has been Ford’s best selling vehicle the past 32 years.
“A day we long awaited for is finally here,” plant manager Mike Felix fittingly said.
The new engine is a testament to today’s technology. It provides 20 percent better fuel economy and 15 percent reduced greenhouse emissions without sacrificing the power that truck buyers demand. Ford said that 57 percent of the F-150s already sold this year have come with the new engine.
The engine also is a testament of what can happen when union and management pull together in the same direction. That’s been the case for years between UAW Local 1219 and Lima plant leadership. It also is a tribute to the Lima Auto Task Force led by Lima Mayor David Berger, which advocates for the auto industry in the region.
None of that was lost on Union President Dave Rabe.
“We will continue to work closely with our leadership and Ford leadership, both in Lima and nationally, to explore additional opportunities,” Rabe said.
He added, ” There are great things ahead.”