Ford Motor Co. (IW 500: 6) said it will add a third shift -- 250 jobs -- at its Cleveland Engine Plant No. 1, to meet surging demand for its 3.5-liter EcoBoost and 3.7-liter V-6 engines.

"Our engine plant in Cleveland is the first and only facility in North America to produce EcoBoost engines, and we are tripling production capacity to meet customers' growing needs for fuel-efficient engines," said Mark Fields, Ford's president of the Americas.

Most of the 250 jobs needed to run the third shift will come from employees transferring from Ford's Cleveland Engine Plant No. 2, which is scheduled to end production later this week.

Since Ford introduced the EcoBoost engine on the Ford Taurus SHO and Lincoln MKS in 2009, customers have purchased 180,000 Cleveland-built 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engines, according to the automaker.

In 2011, Ford sold a record 121,000 vehicles equipped with 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engines when the F-150 pickup began offering an EcoBoost option, according to the automaker.

In first-quarter 2012, Ford sold more than 39,000 vehicles equipped with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine, representing more than a 285% increase from the first quarter of 2011.

The 3.7-liter V-6 engine produced in Cleveland serves as the base engine for two iconic Ford vehicles: the Mustang and F-150 pickup.

Later this month, Ford will add one shift of F-150 production at its Kansas City Assembly Plant, allowing the company to better meet increasing demand for the pickup.

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