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DEARBORN, Mich.Ford Motor Co. plans to introduce its smallest engine ever by 2013, part of the race to improve fuel economy across the industry.

Ford said Thursday it’s working on a one-liter, three-cylinder engine that will be available in small cars globally. Ford didn’t say which cars will get the engine, but it plans to release more details this fall.

Currently Ford’s smallest engine available in the U.S. is the 1.6-liter, four-cylinder used in the Ford Fiesta subcompact. That engine has 120 horsepower and gets up to 38 miles per gallon on the highway.

Ford says the new three-cylinder engine would match that power but be more efficient. The engine has Ford’s EcoBoost technology, which uses turbocharging, direct injection and variable camshaft timing to boost performance. It’s also about 20 pounds lighter than the four-cylinder, which helps fuel economy.

AIRPLANES

Boeing books orders for 7 new planes

CHICAGO — Boeing Co. says it has orders for seven new planes, including one 777 to be made for American Airlines.

The other orders comprise four more 777s and two 737s for unidentified customers. Boeing also identified Continental Airlines for the first time as the customer for 11 of its 737s.

Boeing also said it lost an order for one 737.

Boeing’s 777 is used on long-haul routes and list prices can run as high as $284 million. Boeing makes more of the smaller 737s, which are generally used on shorter flights and sell for around $80 million before discounts.

Boeing has booked orders for 101 of the 737s so far this year, and for 66 of the 777s.

FACTORY

Orders fell in April after parts shortage

Businesses cut back on their orders for heavy machinery, computers and autos in April, partly because the March earthquake in Japan has made component parts harder to come by.

Orders to U.S. factories fell 1.2 percent in April and a measure that signals business investment dropped 2.3 percent, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.

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