In 2019, Ford will launch the production of the second model in Craiova

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As a result of an additional investment of EUR 200 million, the production of the plant will reach 300,000 assembled vehicles annually *1,500 new jobs will be created

 

Ford Romania, the second carmaker on the local market, will launch the production of the second model in Craiova starting from 2019, 11 years since taking over the plant.

According to Mediafax, with the launch of the second vehicle, the production will strongly increase, reaching a similar pace to Mioveni – namely one vehicle being ready in less than one minute, and an annual volume of 300,000 units, meaning exactly the current installed capacity of the plant.

Ford representatives confirmed on Wednesday  an additional investment of EUR 200 million and 1,500 additional jobs dedicated to the production of the second vehicle in its plant from Craiova.

The imminent increase in the number of produced vehicles by Ford in Craiova highlights even more the importance of implementing the infrastructure projects.

The investment in Craiova’s future is a sign of the trust that Ford has in the commitments assumed by the Romanian Government to provide key improvements of the infrastructure and of the logistic structure, which are imperiously needed in order to maintain the global competitiveness of Ford Craiova’s production operations. Any delay would significantly restrict the efforts made by Ford and its suppliers in transporting the higher and higher volume of cars and subassemblies.

A second model will put a huge pressure on the current railway and road infrastructure. While Mioveni has a highway to Bucharest and Constanta and beyond Sibiu to Deva, Craiova doesn’t have any sign of modern road infrastructure at less than 100 km. For over 10 years, all the governments promised the infrastructure to the Americans, but none of these promises was materialized. Moreover, the current government has cut funds exactly from investments. The express road Pitesti-Craiova should be started next year, at least theoretically, but none of the promises made by any government, Prime Minister or Transport Minister was materialized on time until today.

The new vehicle adds to the current Ford EcoSport small SUV and to the 1.0 EcoBoost engine, both of them being already produced by the Craiova plant. The new model and the starting date of its production will be confirmed near its launch.

This new investment confirms the continuation of the evolution of our range of interesting models produced in Europe and at the same time emphasizes the transformation of the Craiova production complex” says Steven Armstrong, CEO of Ford Europe, Middle East and Africa. “Including this second vehicle in the production process is a clear prove of the operational flexibility of the Craiova plant and reflects the strong partnerships we have with the local suppliers and the community members”.

The total investment implemented by Ford in its production operations from Romania – including the ERU 200 million announced today – reaches almost EUR 1.5 billion since 2008 until today, namely since taking over the Craiova plant. Furthermore, the Vehicle Assembly Factory has been recently improved significantly, more than 550 robots being installed in order to increase efficiency and quality in the Painting, General Assembly and Bodywork departments.

If in 2017 the company recruited 1,800 new employees for the Craiova plant, in 2018 the recruitment plan is expected to be even larger, considering that 300,000 vehicles will be produced, compared to an annual production of 150,000 vehicles, which is expected in 2018.

The Craiova plant now has over 4,500 employees, the highest number in its entire history.

In order to support the production of the new vehicle, Ford Romania will hire approx. 1,500 basic and qualified operators for the third shift. Thus, the current workforce of the world-class plant that assembles vehicles and engines – over 4,400 employees – will be supplemented, the total number reaching about 5,900 employees.

In the last two years, Ford Romania’s main priority was to prepare the plant for the new EcoSport produced today. In 2017, the plant has recruited 1,800 new employees, reaching a total number of approx. 4,500 employees, the highest number ever seen at the Craiova plant.

Ford Craiova, the plant that exports every day two train sets with 250 cars each, has overcame the problem of the lack of highways in Romania by exporting the produced cars by train, but there are delays of 6 to 24 hours even here, because of the procedure of crossing the border to Hungary. An average of 14 trains per week are leaving from Craiova to export 90% of the production by the railway, while the remaining 10% are send by the truck, for both the foreign markets and for Romania. “At this moment, the trip from the Curtici Customs to Craiova lasts 11 hours, and if the train misses a slot, it can last up to 24 hours. The average speed is now 15 km/h, and as a result of the infrastructure investments, it will reach 75 km/h, as we were promised” stated the President of Ford Romania, John Oldham. Last year, the company ranked the 4th in the ranking of exporters, and this year it will compete for the second place with Daimler and the Star Assembly plant from Sebes.

Today, 90% of the Craiova production is exported by the train, while 10% is delivered by truck, to which the locally sold cars are added.