Ford Motor Company says it is investing $300 million in the production of a new light commercial vehicle at its Craiova assembly plant in southern Romania.
It will start in 2023 with a fully electric version a year later, the company announced Tuesday.
This will be Ford’s first full electric vehicle built in Romania, the carmaker said in a press release.
Light commercial vehicle
„Our plan to build this new light commercial vehicle in Romania reflects our fruitful and ongoing partnerships with local suppliers and the community, as well as the success of the entire Ford Craiova team,” Ford Europe president Stuart Rowley said.
„By introducing a fully electric version in 2024, Craiova will become our third factory in Europe where fully electric vehicles are produced,” he added.
The investment at the Craiova plant comes in the context of other investments already announced for the Ford Electrified Vehicle Center in Cologne, Germany and for the Kocaeli plant of Ford Otosan in Turkey.
“It sends “a clear signal about our promise to offer European customers commercial vehicles with zero emissions,” the statement said.
Mr Rowley said he hoped the investment would lead to the government proving improvements to support a competitive production environment in the region, including transportation infrastructure.
In February, Ford pledged to have its full range of commercial vehicles in Europe zero-emissions capable, all-electric or plug-in hybrid, by 2024. Two-thirds of Ford’s commercial vehicle sales are expected to be represented by all-electric or plug-in hybrid models by 2030.
Ford entered Romania in March 2008 when it acquired a 72.4% stake in Automobile Craiova, the sole owner of car maker and distributor Daewoo Automobile Romania.
It has since invested over 2 billion euro in its Craiova plant. The auto manufacturer currently rolls out the Puma and EcoSport models as well as the EcoBoost 1.0 l engine in Romania and employs over 6,000 people.
The new light commercial vehicle will be equipped with some of Ford’s most advanced conventional petrol as well as diesel engines produced at the Ford Dagenham engine plant in Britain.
The exact production start date of the new vehicle, and other details will be disclosed closer to launch, Ford added.
In July 2020, Ford announced it would invest $30 million in a new pressing line at its Craiova plant, in order to produce a wider range of components which are currently being brought from other Ford factories in Europe.