International Truck and Engine Corp. will build a new 6.4-liter Power Stroke diesel engine for Ford Motor Co.’s 2008 F-Series Super Duty line of trucks.
Jack Allen, president of International’s engine group, said the 6.4-liter displacement of the new V8 Power Stroke is a substantial step up from its current 6.0-liter size. He said the new engine will boast a high-precision, high-pressure, common-rail fuel injection system featuring piezo-electric injectors first used in European diesel engines for quietness and better emission control.
He added that International recently invested more than $100 million in new machinery and other equipment at its manufacturing facilities in Indianapolis and Huntsville, AL. to manufacture the new Power Stroke diesel.
Allen also noted that diesel engines are becoming the “powertrain of choice” for heavy-duty pickup truck buyers in the U.S. as they provide more torque for maximum towing and hauling with improved fuel economy. He said industry-wide diesel heavy-duty pickup sales from 1994 to 2006 grew at an average rate of 9% per year, according to data from R. L. Polk & Co, with 69% of those trucks sold with diesel engines this year alone.
However, Ford’s announcement Aug. 18 that it plans to cut truck production by 21% in the fourth quarter is causing a ripple effect among its suppliers, especially International, which will lay off employees at its Indianapolis, IN, engine assembly plant in October.Sergio Sgarbi, International’s Indianapolis plant manager, said that the new production schedule going into effect Oct. 2 will result in the layoff of some 380 employees represented by the United Auto Workers. Layoffs will impact non-union employees as well, he said, but the final number has not yet been determined.