Ford makes vehicles and engines at Craiova

Ford makes vehicles and engines at Craiova

Ford has confirmed it is investing up to EUR200m and adding an additional 1,500 jobs to manufacture a second vehicle at its Craiova Assembly Plant, in Romania.

The new vehicle is in addition to the EcoSport small SUV currently built in Craiova, plus Ford's 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine. The model and start date for production of the second vehicle will be confirmed closer to launch. Ford did make the B-Max small MPV at Craiova, but that model was discontinued last year after disappointing sales. The new model to be made at Craiova is likely to be the Ka+, which is selling well in Europe and currently imported to the region from Ford's Sanand, India, plant.

"This new investment will add to our evolving line-up of exciting new models manufactured in Europe and continues the transformation of our Craiova facility," said Steven Armstrong, president and CEO, Ford of Europe, Middle East & Africa. "The addition of this second vehicle is a testament to the operational flexibility of our Craiova plant and reflects the strong partnerships we have with local suppliers and the community."

Ford says its overall investment in its Romanian manufacturing operations – including today's EUR200m investment announcement – is nearly EUR1.5bn since acquiring the Craiova facility in 2008. Significant upgrades have recently been made to Craiova's vehicle operations, with more than 550 robots installed at the facility to further improve efficiency and quality in the paint, trim and chassis, and body shops.

To support the new vehicle, Ford Romania expects to hire approximately 1,500 basic and skilled operators for a third shift to augment the current workforce of more than 4,400, taking the total workforce to approximately 5,900 employees.

Ford also said the expected increase in vehicle production at Craiova places even greater importance on the ongoing discussions between Ford and the Romanian government. Investing in Craiova's future is a sign of Ford's trust in the Romanian government's promises to deliver key upgrades infrastructure and logistics improvements, which are needed to maintain the global competitiveness of the Ford Craiova manufacturing operations. Any delay would significantly constrain Ford's and its suppliers' efforts to move increased volumes of vehicles and components.

The Craiova-built EcoSport, launched in 2017, is sold across Europe and features a new 1.5-litre EcoBlue diesel engine.