Ford Romania has confirmed that it has started the process of recruiting 976 people to support production of the new EcoSport small sports utility vehicle which is due to start later this year (October according to just-auto/QUBE/PLDB).

Production of the model for European sales is being switched to Ford's Romanian plant from its Chennai, India, plant.

Ford Romania is looking to hire basic and skilled operators to augment the current workforce of 2,715 employed in the vehicle and engine assembly operations.

"It is great to be announcing today that we are adding almost 1,000 new jobs at our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Craiova, bringing the total number of people employed here to more than 3,650," said John Oldham, President of Ford Romania.

"The new jobs go hand-in-hand with the transformation of our plant that we started last winter to support the production of the Ford EcoSport."

The recruiting process for the 976 new jobs will be through Manpower's Craiova office, where a dedicated team is coordinated by Ford Romania's HR team.

"The selection process for the new people starts in April and will last until the end of July," said Marina Babara, Ford Romania HR Director. "By August, we will be welcoming our new people to Ford and teaching them their roles in preparation for the launch of the EcoSport."

Ford says Craiova Vehicle Assembly Operations is an important part of Ford's manufacturing footprint in Europe, with as much as EUR200m being invested to build the Ford EcoSport.

However, the Craiova plant – which makes the B-MAX and EcoBoost engines – has suffered from overcapacity in the past, which the latest production mix rejig will help to alleviate.