In 2019, Ford Motor Company announced it would be closing the Romeo plant as part of a deal with United Auto Workers. At the time, it was stated that 600 jobs were to be bought out or possibly transferred to the Van Dyke Transmission Plant. The date of this closure was slated to be December 2022, but after three years the plant was still running strong, even with the demise looming overhead.
Unfortunately, Ford has set in motion the end of an era for the Romeo plant. While the plant for many years has produced hundreds of engines per hour, it was Ford’s Romeo Plant Niche Line that caught the attention of enthusiasts everywhere. Behind the blue doors stickered with Ford Performance decals, is the birthplace of many lusted-after V8 engines that Ford has produced.
Since 1996, the Niche Line has managed to bring to life numerous Cobra and Shelby engines. It all started with the original 4.6-liter Mustang Cobra engine and working its way to the Terminator’s supercharged powerplant. It wasn’t only the Cobra engine’s who had Romeo listed as the origin on its birth certificate, as the Shelby GT350 and GT500 engines from the Voodoo, Trinity, and Predator all came to life behind these doors. The highlight of the last few decades being the first-generation Ford GT engine.
But as the phrase goes, all good things must come to an end. Instead of continuing the legacy and lineage that the Niche Line has produced, the plant will be closing. After years of hard work and prideful practices the end has arrived.
It’s still unclear if Ford Motor Company will be relocating the elite engine crew or halting production altogether. After announcing the Raptor R will be coming equipped with the Predator 5.2-liter engine a few months back, it’s unlikely the Niche Line produced enough engines to meet the demand for the new 700 horsepower supercharged truck. Could the Niche Line join the 7.3-Liter production at the recently improved Windsor plant that boasts of blueprint capable engine production? Maybe the operation will move an hour south to join the Dearborn Engine Plant? In any case, we salute the Niche Line crew who for so many years engraved their name on countless engines as a statement of pride in their craftsmanship.