Ford to invest €675 mln to modernize Craiova plant

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Ford Motor Company would develop the Craiova manufacturing plant in Romania into one of the major facilities supporting Ford of Europe's vehicle and engine production requirements, the company said yesterday.

Ford's strategy for the Craiova plant was discussed today at meetings in Bucharest with Ford of Europe President and CEO John Fleming, Romania Prime Minister Calin Popescu-Tariceanu and members of the privatization committee for Automobile Craiova. Ford submitted its bid for the plant on July 5. If the Ford bid is successful, the company would commit to investing €675 million ($931 million) in the site to upgrade and modernize the plant in line with global Ford Motor Company standards. Ford's plans also include increasing employment levels from 3,900 now to 7,000 – and potentially up to 9,000.

The existing and additional workforce would be producing 300,000 vehicles a year, together with a further 300,000 engines annually, according to Ford's plans. In 2006, the plant made 24,000 vehicles and 116,000 engines. “By 2012, we would expect to be spending around €1 billion a year in Romania to support the Craiova plant,” said Fleming. “We are excited about the opportunity for Craiova. But there is still much hard work to be done before a final agreement is reached. During our negotiations with the privatization committee, we will be emphasizing how important the Craiova plant is to Ford's long-term strategic manufacturing plans,” Fleming added. (paddocktalk.com)

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