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By Mark Kleis

While speaking at an investor conference with Bank of America Merrill Lynch today, Ford's head of global marketing, sales and service, Jim Farley, discussed several product plans for Ford's near-future - including the intention to make EcoBoost engines a core volume engine across its global lineup.

To date, Ford has marketed its EcoBoost technology, which is essentially the use of a lower displacement engine, twin-turbochargers and direct injection, as a premium technology with an associated premium pricetag. Before the 2011 model year, the EcoBoost technology has been quite limited in its offerings, with the only Blue oval-wearing vehicles to offer it being the Taurus SHO and the Flex EcoBoost.

Now, according to a Detroit News report, Ford is looking to utilize EcoBoost technology across all of its lineup, not only as an option, but as a core powertrain. "We intend to have EcoBoost across every one of our vehicles as a core powertrain," said Farley.

Farley also addressed the premium pricing of the EcoBoost technology, suggesting that market research shows that with a roughly two-year payoff many customers will be willing to pay the premium.

The first true test will be on the 2011 Explorer, which sees the less power four-cylinder EcoBoost engine charging a premium over the V6-powered SUV.



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Report: Ecoboost for all Ford models

by Zach Bowman (RSS feed) on Sep 14th, 2010 at 3:56PM

Once again, reports are making the rounds that each model in Ford's stable will soon be available with an Ecoboost engine option. While this isn't the first time we've heard such murmurings, The Detroit News reports that Jim Farley, the Ford global head of sales, says that his company's product plans include direct-injection and turbocharging at the core of each vehicle's future powertrain lineup. Don't think that those high-tech, smaller-displacement engines will command a price tag that's any easier to swallow, though.

Farley believes consumers will be willing to pay more for Ecoboost-powered vehicles. Why? Because the fuel economy savings can offset the MSRP premium in as little as two years. That may help to explain why the Blue Oval has priced the Ecoboost four-cylinder Explorer above the equivalent V6 model.

Even so, Farley didn't make mention of whether or not the Blue Oval is meditating on situating a forced-induction engine into the likes of the mighty Mustang. While we know the new F-150 will arrive with a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 under its hood this fall, the brand's pony car has been hallowed ground for the naturally-aspirated faithful... for now.



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EcoBoost engines for all lineups in Ford's future, exec says

Alisa Priddle / The Detroit News

Ford Motor Co.'s product plans include more new vehicle types from each global family, including small minivans, as well as making premium Ecoboost engines the core powertrains across all lineups, Jim Farley, global head of sales, marketing and service, said today.

The product strategy is to have as many as 10 body styles of vehicles from the three core sizes of cars: the subcompact or B-segment that includes the Ford Fiesta; the compact or C-segment size (Ford Focus); and the mid-size cars that include the Ford Fusion.

Compact vehicles still to come include the next-generation Escape being developed in coordination with the Ford Kuga crossover in Europe.

Going up a size, the Fusion is being consolidated with Europe's Ford Mondeo. Future vehicles from this family could include minivans, utility vehicles and commercial vehicles, Farley said at a Bank of America Merrill Lynch conference in San Francisco.

Farley later tried to clarify his remarks to say he was referring to the Focus-sized minivan, the Grand C-Max, which will be sold in the United States in late 2011.

Analyst Jim Hall of 2953 Analytics in Birmingham said Ford needs a Fusion-sized minivan for Europe and once that is part of its global lineup, it's an option for the U.S. market. Ford also has the luxury of being able to test the market first with the C-Max.

The other key prong of future products is that under the hood of almost every vehicle, in the future, is the Ecoboost option: a smaller, turbocharged premium engine.

"We intend to have EcoBoost across every one of our vehicles as a core powertrain," Farley said. The premium engine is not intended to represent a small portion of the sales mix, but a "substantial" offering across the lineup.

The sales chief said he thinks consumer will pay more for a smaller engine -- such as the Ecoboost four-cylinder in the new Ford Explorer that will be priced above the V-6.

Ecoboost provides up to five miles per gallon better fuel economy than the competition, Farley said.

Today's consumers are doing the math and if the payback for paying the premium is only two years, they "they will pay extra."

There are two reasons, Farley said.

"Consumers know tomorrow they could wake up and gas could be $4 a gallon."

Farley said a year ago, 40 percent of people who left the Ford brand did so because of perceived poor fuel economy.

Fuel prices may be lower today, but "the uncertainty about fuel prices has changed the mindset of customers."

Secondly, the introduction of hybrids has consumers already making the mental calculations to figure out the fuel savings necessary to break even.

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20100914/AUTO01/9140412/1148/auto01/EcoBoost-engines-for-all-lineups-in-Ford-s-future--exec-says#ixzz0zYXDrJ7i

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the automakers are seeing gold because the customers believe the 4 popper turbos now are just as powerful and more fuel efficient than a v6.

the government is pushing for a downward move in displacement and engine size with CAFE.

the customer does not trust the world atmosphere and the people in charge here to think that gas won't hit 4 bucks again in the next couple years.

but if the manufacturer can charge more for only a four cylinder, even with a turbo it might be cheaper than a NA six. the automakers are fine with this if they can charge more and spend less to do it!

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