Ford announced on June 14 that it will start manufacturing its new B-MAX model next year at its Craiova plant in southern Romania, reshuffling earlier plans. Production of the family multi-purpose vehicle will begin in early 2012.
"As our One Ford strategy evolves, we re-evaluated our product sourcing arrangements," said Jan Gijsen, president of Ford Romania. "While we announced previously that Craiova would be a source for the Ford Transit Connect, we identified a stronger business case for amending our plan."
Production of the Transit Connect, a minivan, will be transferred to Valencia in Spain.
In early 2012, the Craiova plant is slated to begin producing the new fuel-efficient 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine, "one of the most technically-advanced and efficient engines Ford has ever developed," the company said.
Ford said it is investing $975 million in transforming Craiova into a modern and globally-competitive manufacturing facility. The carmaker bought the plant, a former Daewoo facility, in 2008 and promised to modernize it to achieve annual production capacity of 300,000 cars and 300,000 engines from 2011 but last August it admitted it was behind with its plans.
Fewer than 10,000 vehicles were manufactured in 2010 and some 3,000 in the first four months of this year, according to the local automakers' association.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011