Electrification is the way forward for most of the automotive industry, but there is still a lot of demand for combustion engines in the meantime. Ford’s Windsor engine plant will be on the front lines of combustion powertrains, as executives and the union president confirm the production of upcoming engines.
According to the Windsor Star, Unifor Local 200 President John D’Agnolo met with John Savona, Ford vice president of America’s manufacturing, and Kevin Legel, vice president of labor affairs in Toronto for an update on the brand’s Canadian operations.
Although the fully-electric (and largely spoken for) F-150 Lightning is on its way very soon, Ford was very clear that combustion powertrains aren’t going anywhere fast. As far out as “2040,” said the union president.
According to D’Agnolo, the Windsor-built engines that power both the F-150 and the Mustang are still very much in high demand, with the 5.0-liter Coyote, 7.3-liter Godzilla, and an upcoming 6.8-liter V8 engine are firmly in the “full-steam-ahead” category.
At one time, the 6.8-liter engine was rumored to fall under the hood of the next-generation Mustang, according to then-Unifor-President Jerry Dias, but further investigation into our sources on the S650 Mustang suggested that was false information.
Even if/when it’s time for combustion powertrains to go the way of the dodo, D’Agnolo continues to lobby for Windsor to receive other products. According to him, the Windsor plant will be the “last” to produce combustion engines, as quoted in Windsor Star. It’s unclear if he was referring to Ford’s Canadian operations, or had a more global perspective.
The federal government of Canada has decided that by 2035, 100% of new light-vehicle sales must be zero-emissions (which includes hybrids), but that doesn’t include heavy trucks.
Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Stellantis, and other automakers that are in the commercial light and medium duty truck business may be earmarking record amounts of money for electric vehicle programs, but the demands and conservative budgets of the commercial truck market are likely to keep firing on all cylinders for decades to come. To that end, there have been several hints that this end of the business could pivot to hydrogen power in the not-too-distant future.