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September 8, 2009

ROMANIA: First Ford Transit Connect off the line

Ford has built the first production Transit Connect light commercial vehicle at its new (former Daewoo) plant in Craiova, Romania.

Ford has built the first production Transit Connect light commercial vehicle at its new (former Daewoo) plant in Craiova, Romania.

A new small car – unnamed but not the Fiesta or Ka – is scheduled to go into production “in the near future”, the automaker said.  Craiova eventually also will build a small displacement, ‘EcoBoost’ petrol engine.  The exact timing for the start of production for both products will be announced at a later date.

At full capacity, Craiova will be able to produce up to 300,000 vehicles and 300,000 engines annually and employ around 7,000 people.

The Connect was donated to a local hospital while initial build will be sold only in Romania.  Mid-term, Ford expects to export the majority of Craiova Transit Connect production, primarily to Central and Eastern Europe. It also builds the line in Turkey.

Ford said it continued to encourage existing suppliers to bring business to Romania, either by using local suppliers or establishing facilities of their own to support Craiova. It also wants to use as many local services as possible provided they meet corporate standards.

Ford’s once had a sales office and production plant in Romania, opened in the 1930s.

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