FORD CRAIOVA TAKEOVER

Ford Automobile Craiova takeover complete

27 March, 2008

BY OUR AUTOMOBILE CORRESPONDENT

Ford Motor Company has become the majority owner of the former Automobile Craiova vehicle manufacturing complex in Romania. Ford took over the Automobile Craiova plant from the Romanian government in the end of March 2008.

The first Ford vehicle, at the plant, is expected to be produced sometime around the middle of 2009. The Craiova facility is now among the seven other Ford vehicle assembly plants and thirteen engine, transmission, casting, forging, stamping, tool and die plants, including joint ventures, across Europe.

As the takeover happened, the company put up its first external sign in the form of a banner with the blue Ford oval trademark on the plantís administrative building. The plant is said to be unique and stands up to by world-class standards of manufacturing quality and efficiency.

Ford has lined up plans committed to transforming Craiova into a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant through an investment of 675 million Euros. The company will begin production with the Ford Transit Connect.

In year 2010, the plant will start manufacturing a small, cheap car that will be made in Romania and will bear the stamp of the Craiova assembly line.

Meanwhile, a related report said that Ford has inked a deal with an existing major OEM customer at the Craiova plant to continue production of completed cars, engines and transmissions through to the end of 2008. It is expected that the company would upgrade the plant in stages and Ford expects to spend around Euro 1 billion per year to support the Craiova operations. The plant will boast of a capacity of 300,000 vehicles and 300,000 engines.

In 2007, Ford had bought 72.4% stake in the Romanian company for $88 million and had pledged to pump in $1 billion in the Automobile Craiova plant. Ford had also said that it aims to increase the number of employees from 3,900 to around 7,000 - 9,000.

 

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