Ford Predicts Significant Increase of Vehicles With Four-Cylinder Engines in the US image

Ford predicts that sales of four-cylinder engines will increase to two-thirds of US new-vehicle sales by the end of the decade.

Ford predicts that the number of smaller engines will increase, due to stricter fuel-efficiency standards imposed by the US government, known as Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE). This means that more cars, trucks and SUVs will begin to turn to the four-cylinder engines by 2020.

“I think it’s maybe a stretch. But I don’t find it implausible,” said Bill Visnic, senior editor at the car research site Edmunds.com, in a telephone interview. “If you look at where things have been going segment by segment, except pickups, you could say that’s been the trend.”

If in 2008 the vehicles with four-cylinder engines accounted for 40% of the market, now they are 53% of the new-vehicle market, according to market researcher R.L. Polk & Co. ford predicts that by 2020 vehicles equipped with four-cylinders will account for 66% of all new cars. Mike Omotoso, senior manager of global powertrain at LMC Automotive, said that in order for cars with four-cylinder engines to account for two-thirds of the new vehicle sales, this would mean “all the pickups and full-size SUVs to virtually disappear.”

Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book, says that Ford’s prediction looks ‘reasonable’ as four-cylinder engines offer almost the same performance as old-school V-6 engines. This year Ford will also introduce in the US a 1-liter, three-cylinder version of its EcoBoost engines in its Fiesta subcompact.

“I think you’re going to see both in the market,” said Joe Bakaj, Ford’s vice president of powertrain engineering. “It’s going to depend on the performance class and how much displacement you need as to whether a vehicle will get a three- or a four-cylinder,” he said.

Source: The Detroit News