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Ford launches production of EcoSport in Craiova. Total investment in Romania reaches over EUR 1.2 billion

de Adrian N Ionescu 16.10.2017

Ford officially launched the production of the EcoSport SUV at the plant in Craiova, raising total investments in Romania to about EUR 1.2 billion, since the takeover of the factory in 2008.

The number of employees will increase by nearly 1,700 to 4,300 people by the end of the year, exceeding for the first time the number of employees in the moment of the takeover.

Ford plant in Craiova will be the only supplier of the new EcoSport model in Europe.

So far, Ford produced the B-Max model in Craiova, “one of the most complex cars in the world,” according to John Oldham, Chairman of Ford Romania, and the Transit Connect model until 2012. Ford will continue to produce in Craiova the 1.0 litre Ecoboost engine, which equips one in five Ford cars in Europe, and promises to launch a new model.

Ford Romania’s turnover has been relatively stagnating for four years, down 1% to RON 3,71 billion last year. Net profit was RON 29 million (EUR 6.5 million) after losses of RON 81 million, according to the Ministry of Finance.

Ford Romania has also reported a net profit in other two years since 2008, in 2013 (more than RON 68.8 million, the best year when the turnover exceeded for the first time one billion euros) and in 2014 (over RON 25.3 million).

Ford took over Craiova plant for EUR 57 million when it estimated investments of EUR 675 million. In September 2009, it was to produce the first Ford Transit Connect, 74 years after the US company assembled its first automotive car in Romania in the factory located where Automatica Bucuresti is today.

Competition for Duster

The Class B EcoSport SUV is a direct competitor to Dacia Duster, produced by Renault at Automobile Dacia, as well as other brands including Renault Captur, Peugeot 2008, Opel Mokka X, Nissan Juke, SEAT Arona, Volkswagen T-Roc, Hyundai Kona and Kia Stonic.

French Renault carmaker obtained a profit of over RON 456.5 million at Automobile Dacia with a turnover of over RON 20.7 billion last year.

Dacia exports cover about 90% of the production in Automobile Dacia, which accounts for over 7% of the total Romanian exports (FOB).

At the factory in Mioveni, Dacia manufactured in Romania 231,558 vehicles since the beginning of the year, of which Dacia Duster – 143,487, Sandero – 32,988, Logan MCV – 29,424, and Logan – 25,659. To them, 33,560 SKDs are added.

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