By Allison Lampert and Nick Carey
MONTREAL, DETROIT (Reuters) – Ford Motor Co <F.N> will announce on Thursday production of a new engine in the Canadian province of Ontario, two sources familiar with the matter said, in an investment that would boost Canada’s auto industry after years of job losses to Mexico and the United States.
The sources said the 7X engine, for large pickup trucks, is to be announced with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the Ford Essex Engine Plant in Windsor, Ontario, on Thursday morning.
It is part of the C$700 million ($525.05 million) in new investments secured during a 2016 agreement between Ford and its 7,000 unionized Canadian workers, the sources said. Investments in Windsor’s two engine plants are expected to account for about C$600 million ($450.05 million).
Spokesmen for Ford and Trudeau declined to comment.
Brian Maxim, a vice president at AutoForecast Solutions, said in a telephone interview that the 7.0-litre, V8 engine would have more torque and be more fuel efficient than the 6.8-litre V10 engine now built in Windsor and used in Ford’s super- duty trucks, such as its F-250s.
Maxim said he expected Ford to produce about 125,000 units of the new engine per year, starting in 2019.
Ford’s F-Series pickup trucks have been the best-selling model in the United States since 1982.
New investment in engine production in Canada was seen as vital because the large V8 and V10 motors now built by Ford in Windsor were expected to end production in four years.
Between 2001 and 2013, some 14,300 jobs were lost in vehicle manufacturing in Canada, according to Hamilton’s Automotive Policy Research Center.
(Reporting By Allison Lampert in Montreal and Nick Carey in Detroit; Additional reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa)