BUSINESS

Ford starts engine production at new Craiova plant

The first engine produced is the EcoBoost class leader of 1.0 L, the smallest petrol engine developed by the US maker.

Ford Motor Company yesterday officially inaugurated the series production at its new world size engine plant in Craiova, Romania. Ford Romania President Jan Gijsen said, in the opening of the event, that a new chapter was just beginning for the Craiova plant and that he was discovering more and more both human and technological capital there. Independent Senator Mircea Geoana was also present for the official opening, telling Nine O’Clock in exclusivity he was convinced that, five yeas from now, Craiova and the area around it will be a hub of research, innovation, design and production for the Ford company at a global level. ‘It is the signal of the third wave of industrialisation of Romania and Oltenia. I am convinced that this first step which may not be of the greatest size ever, is nonetheless comparable with what happened when the Logan model was released in Romania. At the same time, it was a transfer of technology, innovation, research and engineering that made Romania the most important link in the Renault-Nissan concern,’ Geoana further stressed.The new engine factory is the result of a EUR 180 M Ford investment. In total Ford invests almost EUR 700 M in the production of engines and motor-vehicles in Romania. The first engine built by Ford in Romania is the high-technology 1.0 L petrol one, called EcoBoost. Also built at the Ford plant in Cologne, Germany, this three-cylinder engine with turbo features and direct injection is the smallest petrol engine ever developed by the American company. In Europe, it currently equips the Ford Focus model (the 100 HP and 125 HP versions), enjoying unanimous appreciation for its fuel efficiency and performance. The new engine will also be available in the new Ford B-Max model (100 HP and 120 HP versions), Ford C-Max and Ford Grand C-Max, as well as more future Ford models. ‘Today (yesterday – our note) is an important day that marks the introduction of a new level of advanced production in this part of Europe,’ said Dirk Heller, Director of Manufacturing, Power Train Operations Ford Europe.  Also Jan Gijsen added that the city of Craiova plays a very important role in the Ford global production network. ‘Our investment transformed the Craiova-based engine production plant into one of the most modern and competitive facilities in the automotive industry’ the president of Ford Romania also said. The plant will operate in a single shift, but Ford plans to add more in the future, in keeping with customer demand. ‘This plant will have a high and sustainable production capacity. The new advanced technologies used reduce the volume of cooling fluid required for the processing of aluminium engine parts to as little as 4 or 5 millilitres per unit, from a regular volume of up to 2 L,’ Ian Pearson, Engine Unit Manager, Ford Romania, said, in turn.Present was also Henrik Nenzen, Managing Director Ford Romania, who explained that the new EcoBoost 1.0 L engine would help customers save a lot of money. It will save local council tax money and up to 45 per cent of the cost of an insurance policy, for example. Ford also intends to triple its production of cars equipped with the EcoBoost engine for Europe by 2015, once it begins to be produced by the new plant.  The new B-Max equipped with the Ford Auto Start – Stop system as standard and with the EcoBoost 120 HP engine has a record-low CO2 emission of 114 g/km and a fuel consumption of  4.9 L/100 km, is 15 per cent more economical than its key competitors.

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