By Jerom Bolt
US automaker Ford announced on Tuesday that it will invest $ 300 million to build a new light commercial vehicle in 2023 at its Craiova plant, including a fully electric version of it, which will debut in 2024.
“Ford confirmed today that it will invest $ 300 million to build a new light commercial vehicle in 2023 at its Craiova plant, including a fully electric version of it, which will debut in 2024. It will be the first vehicle Ford of volume, completely electric, built-in Romania “, the company announces.
The start date of production of the new vehicle, as well as additional details about it, will be confirmed near the time of launch.
In February, Ford pledged to have its full range of zero-emission commercial vehicles in Europe ready, 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.
“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. By introducing a fully electric version in 2024, Craiova will become our third factory in The investment in Craiova comes in the context of the other investments already announced for the Ford Electrified Vehicle Center in Cologne (Germany) and for the Kocaeli plant of Ford Otosan in Turkey and sends a clear signal about our promise to provide Europe’s customers with zero-emission commercial vehicles, “said Stuart Rowley, President of Ford of Europe.
The new light commercial vehicle will also be equipped with some of Ford’s most advanced conventional petrol as well as diesel engines produced at the Ford Dagenham engine plant in the UK.
The transmissions will be built at Ford Halewood Transmissions Limited, also in the UK.
Ford ‘s total investment in its production operations in Romania, including the investment announced today, is approaching $ 2 billion since the takeover of the Craiova plant in 2008.
In recent years, significant improvements have been made to the factory in Craiova; over 600 robots have been installed to improve and streamline the processes of stamping, painting or assembling bodies and chassis.
About 6,000 people work on the assembly lines of vehicles and engines in Craiova.
The first step towards an electrified future at the factory in Craiova was made in October 2019, with the launch of the production of the Puma mild-hybrid model.
Ford is the first car manufacturer to announce the production of a fully electric vehicle in Romania. In addition to Puma, Ford Craiova is currently building the small SUV, Ford EcoSport, but also the award-winning 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine.
“This new investment in the future of the Craiova plant demonstrates, once again, Ford’s hope that the Romanian government will provide all the key improvements promised to support a competitive production environment in the region, including in terms of transport infrastructure, which is essential, “Rowley added.
By Jerom Bolt