TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian Auto Workers union said on Tuesday it is pushing Ford Motor Co to put its new 5.0-liter V-8 engine, which will be made in Windsor, Ontario, into more vehicles than just the Mustang GT.
Ford said on Monday that it would begin production of the V-8 engine for the 2011 Mustang GT at its Essex Engine plant in Windsor early in the new year.
The decision to build the new, more fuel efficient V-8 in the Windsor plant, which was shut in 2007, was made by Ford in October in contract talks with the CAW.
At the start, about 200 workers on one shift will make the V-8. But Ken Lewenza, president of the CAW, said more shifts could be added if Ford decides to put the engine into other vehicles.
“We’ve put a lot of effort into convincing Ford to maximize that engine in that plant, so this is the start, hopefully, of better things to come,” he said.
There are about 1,000 Ford workers on layoff in Windsor. The city, which is across the river from Detroit, took a big hit from the downturn in the auto sector and has the highest unemployment rate of any major metropolitan area in Canada.
Lewenza said the V-8 engine could be used in Ford’s F-150 pickup truck, which is the best-selling vehicle in North America.
“That’s one of the vehicles that Ford has identified as a possibility,” he said, adding that Ford has not made any final decisions.
Reporting by John McCrank; editing by Peter Galloway