Ford invests 850 million euros in Craiova-based plant

Total investments of Ford Romania in its plant based in Craiova (southern Romania) is to reach 850 million euros this year, according to Ziarul financiar daily.

Ford Motor Company, the owner of 96.6 percent of Automobile Craiova plant, has increased share capital of Ford Craiova by 250 million euros, with the European Investment Bank (EIB) having approved a loan on Tuesday, May 12, worth 600 million euros, for the facility in Craiova and also for the plant’s research and development activities to be carried out in Germany.

As much as 400 million euros, from the 600-million loan to be received from the EIB, are to be injected in the upgrading of the units already existing on the platform in Craiova, and also in building new facilities.

The Romanian state is the guarantor of 80 percent of this amount (320 million euros).

Ford Romania is going to cease production of engines and gear boxes in mid-year, to get ready instead for launching production of the light utility vehicle Transit Connect, in the second half of the year. Ceasing production of engines and gear-boxes would affect approximately 1,000 of the employees at the plant.

The production of the Transit Connect utility vehicle, to be sold on the European market, is going to be determined by the demand existing on the market, with sales of commercial vehicles having been affected by the world financial crisis too, according to Ford officials.

They had initially estimated a 30,000-unit production in 2009.

Ford Romania is already cooperating with several suppliers of spare parts on the domestic market, to get ready for production.

According to the officials of the Group, the number of employees at the plant in Craiova is to remains constant, at approximately 3,900 people, with no layoffs or hiring having been planned so far.

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