Romanian Times reported that US car maker Ford will invest EUR 675 million in its plant in Craiova in southern Romania. Mr John Fleming president of Ford Europe announced the news at the launching of the first Ford assembled there. He said that the number of employees at the plant in Craiova would rise to 7,000 from the current 3,900 but new hires would begin only in 2011. He also said the company had invested a total of 12 million Euros in employee training.
Mr Fleming noted that Ford plans to manufacture between 20,000 and 30,000 vehicles at its new Craiova plant in southern Romania next year. The first car assembled at the plant, a Ford Transit Connect, will be donated to the municipal hospital in Craiova. He added that the Ford Transit Connect vehicles assembled at the plant are destined for markets in Central and Eastern Europe, including Romania’s. The first cars to be totally manufactured at the plant will be marketed next year, but company officials have refused to say what the model would be.
Mr Mark Gitenstein US Ambassador to Romania said that "Few industries have felt the effects of the global economic downturn more acutely than the automotive industry. Ford's presence here will be a powerful engine for growth in Romania's economy, and in this Craiova community."
Ford became major shareholder of Automobile Craiova in September 2007 when it purchased 72.4% of the Romanian company’s shares for EUR 57 million. Ford has increased its participation in the company and has an interest of 96.74% in the company at present.