Ford Slashes V-8 Production Due to Higher Demand for Smaller, Turbo F-150 Pickup Truck Engines

Could this mark the beginning of the end for the American V-8 as we know it?

2019 Ford F-150 Limited
Steve Petrovich

Ford Motor Company confirmed Friday that it's axing one of three shifts that build V-8 engines at its Ontario Assembly Plant in Windsor, Canada. The move to scale back engine block production comes after seeing reduced customer demand for the venerable 5.0-liter V-8 offered in the F-150 half-ton pickup truck and other Ford SUVs.

According to AN, it's the third shift for the plant that's being eliminated effective immediately, but reportedly no jobs will be lost as a result. Overall lower demand and a growing number of engine offerings in Blue Oval vehicles are allegedly to blame, with customers now having the option to choose from various engines that are just as capable but considerably more fuel efficient than the old-school V-8. These include the 2.7- and 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 EcoBoost models, and also the new 3.3-liter naturally aspirated V-6 and the 3.0-liter Power Stroke diesel V-6.

A Ford Canada spokesperson told AN via email that the decision was made “to better align with consumer demand.”

In addition, Unifor Local 200 president John D'Agnolo (the Canadian version of the United Auto Workers) told AN that third-shift employees affected by the cut back will be able to pick up a different shift at a nearby plant that works on engines for the Ford Super Duty, something which was further confirmed by Ford.

“All employees affected by the shift reduction will have the opportunity to move to Windsor Engine Plant Annex to support 7.3-litre engine production,” a Ford Canada spokesperson said.

D'Agnolo allegedly claims that the news didn't come as a surprise to the workers and that everyone was more or less prepared for adjustments.

“We’ve had down shifts every week since January, and we have two down weeks in the summer, and two more down weeks scheduled in September,” D’Agnolo said. “We could see that sales of the 5.0-liter were dropping.”

Could this be the end of the V-8-powered pickup truck? Only time will tell.