Ford Bridgend petrol enginesFord has approved a new £181 million range of petrol engines to be built at its plant in Bridgend, South Wales – entirely coincidentally, in the same week as #dieselgate threatens the future of the diesel engine.

Production of the new engines will begin in late 2018. They are currently being designed by teams based in Britain and Germany.

Welsh economic minister Edwina Hart welcomed the news: “Ford is a Welsh Anchor Company and the Bridgend Engine Plant plays a key role in the economy of South Wales.

“In a climate of stiff global competitiveness, we have been actively seeking to win a share of this investment for Wales and so we are delighted with today’s announcement”

A total of 750 skilled Welsh jobs will be secured “for many years”, added Hart.

Ford used the announcement to remind us that one in four of all Fords sold in Europe uses an Ecoboost petrol engine. One in five uses the award-winning 1.0-litre Ecoboost petrol motor.

Five million Fords sold worldwide have been fitted with an Ecoboost petrol engine, which uses features such as turbocharging and direct injection to improve fuel economy and reduce CO2 emissions to near-diesel engine levels – without the associated NOx penalties.

As the VW emissions scandal threatens to engulf the automotive industry and the future of diesel in Europe, Ford’s Welsh investment may be extremely well-timed. Prepare to be busy, Bridgend…