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Ford to triple EcoBoost output in Europe by 2015

The Ford Motor Company logo is seen on a wall at the Qatar International Motor Show in Doha, January 27, 2012. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad
The Ford Motor Company logo is seen on a wall at the Qatar International Motor Show in Doha, January 27, 2012. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad

(Reuters) - Ford Motor Co will more than triple European production of vehicles made with its turbocharged engine by 2015 as emission standards grow stricter in the region.

By 2015, Ford said, it expects to build 480,000 vehicles a year with its "EcoBoost" engine, which, according to the company, can provide up to a 15 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. In 2011, Ford built 141,000 vehicles with this engine.

Ford will also expand the number of models available with the engine to 10 from the current five by 2015.

The automaker has made fuel economy the focus of its vehicle strategy as oil prices rise, and U.S. and European standards for fuel economy and emissions tighten. The EcoBoost engine will play a key role in helping Ford meet those standards.

The European Union wants emissions from new cars to fall, on average, to 130 grams of CO2 per kilometer by 2015. That would be nearly a 20 percent reduction from the EU's 2006 target of 161.3 grams.

The automaker expects that by 2015, more than half of its cars sold in Europe will be equipped with the engine.

In all, Ford expects to make 1.3 million European cars with EcoBoost from 2012 to 2015. More than half of them, 800,000, will be outfitted with a small 1.0-liter engine made in factories in Romania and Germany. Other options are a 1.6 liter variant and a 2.0 liter engine.

Last year, Ford lost $27 million in Europe, where car sales are declining in the face of rising unemployment and economic uncertainty. Ford expects to lose between $500 million and $600 million in Europe this year.

(Reporting by Deepa Seetharaman in Detroit; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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