Ford will re-open its Cleveland Engine Plant 1 to build the V-6 engine for the new CrossTrainer SUV.

The plant will crank up early in 2004 following a $US350 million upgrade.

Ford will then be building more than one million engines annually on the Brook Park site which also houses the Cleveland Engine 2 plant.

Plant 1 was closed in 1997 when Ford phased out its five-litre cast-iron block V8. A radical redesign of the facility began.

The plant re-opens in late 2003 and, at full annual production of 325,000 engines, will employ 650 workers building the CrossTrainer#;s aluminum, double-overhead cam Duratec V6.

The plant will be fitted with new, ergonomically designed equipment that will enhance flexibility for production of small batches in engine assembly and component machining.

Cleveland Engine Plant 2 produced more than 725,000 V6s last year.