Fleming: Ford will make new model in Craiova, other than Fiesta or Ka

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Chairman of Ford Europe John Fleming at the inauguration of the US giant’s new plant in Craiova (southern Romania) stated that the small car to be made here will represent a new model, other than Fiesta or Ka.

‘At least for the next interval, we are planning to make here, besides the Transit Connect utility vehicle model, also a new model of a small car, to be developed here after a totally new concept, other than the Ka or Fiesta,’ John Fleming specified.

He also added, on the occasion of the launch of the Transit Connect utility vehicle’s first model, that the production pace will reach in this case 1,000-2,000 units by the end of the year.

The Ford’s representative rejected the speculations that appeared in the media in the latest time, according to which the cars at the launch were brought from the plant in Turkey and not made in Craiova, and explained that only the coachwork came from Turkey, as there exists no production line for coachwork in function in Craiova.

Fleming also added the models made in Craiova will be exported not to the US but to Eastern and Central Europe, while he didn’t confirm that the model to be developed here will represent a new version of the Ford Fusion.

After concluding the privatisation agreement with Automobile Craiova on September 12, 2007, at the Frankfurt International Motor Show, the US company official took over the package of 72.4 percent of the plant’s shares on March 21, 2008, with the papers having been signed by Sebastian Vladescu, the head of the privatisation commission, and Lyle Watters, chief-negotiator at Ford Europe.

The Romanian National Authority for State Assets Recovery (AVAS) got 57 million euros for the 72.4 percent package, according to the AVAS Vice-Chairman Laszlo Gyerko.

After an increase in capital was operated worth 250 million euros in January 2009, Ford took over from SIF Oltenia another 22 percent in Automobile Craiova, in a deal worth 76.4 million lei, in April. The US Company continued to buy shares, increasing its share package from 72.4 up to 96.74 percent.

In July 2009, Ford launched an offer to take over the remaining 3.26 percent in Automobile Craiova, for 10.9 million lei (2.6 million euros).
Following this offer, Ford got to buy only 0.34 percent of the remaining shares, for 1.1 million lei, coming thus to hold now 97.07 percent of the plant’s shares.

Ford announced its intention to withdraw Automobile Craiova from the Stock Exchange.
Specialists said that the Ford’s total investments in Craiova and its other businesses might significantly help the Romanian economy.

‘In the context Ford wants to export 90 percent of its production, I expect Romania to gain from this deal at least as much as after the Renault’s investment in Dacia, now Romania’s main exporter,’ Mihai Ionescu, Secretary General with the National Association of Romanian Exporters and Importers said.

Mircea Geoana, the Speaker of the Romanian Senate, also stated during a meeting with the Ford management that he expected 20 percent of Romania’s export in 2010 to be covered by the US giant.

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