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Ford to invest 200 mln euro to make second vehicle at Romanian plant

Ford to invest 200 mln euro to make second vehicle at Romanian plant Ford Romania

BUCHAREST (Romania), May 22 (SeeNews) - US car maker Ford Motor Company said on Tuesday it is investing up to 200 million euro ($235 million) and adding 1,500 jobs to manufacture a second vehicle at its Craiova assembly plant in Romania.

Approximately 1,500 jobs are expected to be created, bringing workforce at Craiova to 5,900, Ford said in a press release.

The new vehicle is in addition to the EcoSport small SUV currently built in Craiova, plus Ford’s 1.0‑litre EcoBoost engine. The model and start date for production of the second vehicle will be confirmed closer to launch.

“This new investment will add to our evolving line-up of exciting new models manufactured in Europe and continues the transformation of our Craiova facility," Steven Armstrong, president and CEO, Ford of Europe, Middle East & Africa, said.

"The addition of this second vehicle is a testament to the operational flexibility of our Craiova plant and reflects the strong partnerships we have with local suppliers and the community," he added.

Significant upgrades have recently been made to the Craiova vehicle operations, with more than 550 robots installed at the facility to further improve efficiency and quality in the paint, trim and chassis, and body shops, the company said.

To support the new vehicle, Ford Romania expects to hire approximately 1,500 basic and skilled operators for a third shift to augment the current workforce of more than 4,400 employed at its world-class vehicle and engine assembly operations.

The expected increase in vehicle production at Craiova places even greater importance on the ongoing discussions between Ford and the Romanian government regarding infrastructure, the company added.

In September, Romania's government pledged to Ford that it will complete the construction of Pitesti-Sibiu highway by the end of 2020, adding that the road link between Pitesti and Craiova is also a priority for the government.

"Investing in Craiova’s future is a sign of Ford’s trust in the Romanian government’s promises to deliver key upgrades infrastructure and logistics improvements, which are needed to maintain the global competitiveness of the Ford Craiova manufacturing operations," Ford said.

Any delay would significantly constrain Ford's and its suppliers’ efforts to move increased volumes of vehicles and components, Ford added.

In October, Ford started production of the EcoSport SUV model at Craiova following a 200 million euro investment.

Ford entered Romania in March 2008 when it wrapped up the acquisition of a 72.4% stake in Automobile Craiova, the sole owner of car maker and distributor Daewoo Automobile Romania.

Ford Motor Company is based in Michigan, the U.S.  and employs some 202,000 people worldwide.

($=0.8468 euro)

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