Expansion at Ford Bridgend

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Ford's high-tech engine plant at Bridgend, Wales, recently received a £100m investment to produce a new 3.2 litre, six-cylinder engine named the SI6.

The new engine has been earmarked for Volvo's S80 flagship saloon and its XC90 SUV. Predicted annual volumes of the all-alloy, 24-valve SI6 will be 209,000 at full capacity. The plant will also produce more than 78,000 V8 engines each year on the same line.

The engines are at the forefront of Bridgend's expansion, which will result in total production of a million engines a year by 2009, according to Ford. The first SI6 off the line marks the completion of a £245m, two-year investment programme at Bridgend to produce new engines for Ford's Premier Automotive brands.

The £145m V8 programme, which made its debut in May 2004, produced engines for the Range Rover, Land Rover Discovery and Jaguar.