Ford Motor Co has confirmed that it is investing up to 200 million euros (Rs 1,604 crore) and adding an additional 1,500 jobs to manufacture a second vehicle at its Craiova Assembly Plant, in Romania.
The new vehicle is in addition to the EcoSport compact 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.
Ford, taking aim at Europe’s fastest-growing vehicle segment of SUVs, began production of the new EcoSport at the Craiova assembly plant on October 12, 2017. Before this, the EcoSport was imported from Ford India's Chennai plant. At present, Craiova is the sole source of EcoSport production for Europe (excluding Russia), supplying 56 markets on four continents. This includes markets as diverse as the UK, New Caledonia in Oceania, Turkmenistan in Central Asia, and South Africa.
“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,” said Steven Armstrong, president and CEO, Ford of Europe, Middle East & Africa. “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.”
Ford’s overall investment in its Romanian manufacturing operations – including the new 200 million euro investment announcement – is nearly 1.5 billion euros (Rs 12,032 crore) since acquiring the Craiova facility in 2008. Significant upgrades have recently been made to Craiova’s 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.
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. This will bring the total workforce to approximately 5,900 employees.
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