Ford Romania CEO and Craiova plant manager John Oldham said on Thursday that once Ford EcoSport model production kicks off, the number of cars loaded in trucks leaving the factory would double, from 150 cars a week to over 300.
Oldham also said that, according to Ford’s internal studies, improving road infrastructure by finishing the Bals and Slatina ring roads would reduce transportation times by three hours, while improving railway infrastructure would save 15 hours. Currently, 20 percent of Ford Craiova’s production is delivered by trucks; according to the Ford Romania CEO, his company has asked the Romanian Government for a deadline for expanding Romania’s motorway network so that the plant in Craiova would work properly.
He added that the small SUV segment as well as the entire SUV segment are growing on a European level, and Ford expects it to grow more after it starts EcoSport production in Craiova.
Ford Romania and the Association of Automotive Manufacturers of Romania (ACAROM) on Thursday held a conference on transportation infrastructure in Romania and the challenges its poses to automotive manufacturers. Several members of the Cabinet, including Deputy PM Costin Borc, Transportation Minister Sorin Buse, Public Finance Minister Anca Dragu, as well as US ambassador Hans Klemm attended the event.
Buse told the conference that the Craiova-Pitesti highway will also include ring roads for Bals and Slatina, and it will be done in 2020. He said the bidding for a feasibility study and technical project are scheduled for November 1.
US ambassador congratulates the Romanian Gov’t on Transport Masterplan
United States ambassador in Bucharest Hans Klemm said on Thursday that the Romanian Government has taken important steps to improve the local business environment and congratulated the Cabinet for adopting the Transport Masterplan designed to make Romania more attractive to American investors.
Klemm made the statement during a conference on Romanian transport infrastructure and challenges for the automotive industry hosted in Craiova by Ford and the Association of Automotive Manufacturers of Romania (ACAROM).
According to the US ambassador, both American and Romanian investors usually point out three obstacles to investing in Romania: corruption, governance quality and access to human resources.
He also added that on his first meeting with Deputy PM Costin Borc he was asked to support improving economic relations between the US and Romania and encourage US companies to invest in Romania. Although, he says, US companies do not necessarily follow ambassadors’ instruction but they base their investments on very detailed assessments and he cannot influence their decisions, under PM Dacian Ciolos’ tenure the Government has taken important steps towards a more stable governance and transparency, getting players from various sectors involved and fighting corruption.
Klemm also said that most investors complain of a lack of skilled work force and also mention transportation infrastructure as a great obstacle to increasing operations. He congratulated the Romanian Cabinet for adopting the Transport Masterplan during Wednesday’s meeting and said that will be an important factor contributing to improving Romania’s appeal to foreign companies.