By Andra Beltz
Ford Company invested approximately 1.3 billion euro in the 11 years since taking over the plant in Craiova, Ian Pearson, Vehicle Operations and Site Director of Ford Romania stated, adding that it is paramount for Romania’s Government to carry through its commitments as regards the transport infrastructure.
In only a few days we will celebrate 11 years since Ford took over the plant in Craiova. In this period we have invested around 1.3 billion euro to develop state-of-the-art technology, both for the production of cars and that of engines, part of these having been presented, as a matter of fact, to our distinguished guests earlier. During today’s visit I had the opportunity to inform Mrs. prime minister and her team about our current business plan and about future developments, including the additional 200 million euro investment announced last year for the manufacturing of a second car model here in Craiova, Ian Pearson, Director of Ford Romania told Monday a press conference held alongside Prime Minister Viorica Dancila and members of the Cabinet, at the end of the visit carried out by the latter at the Ford plant.
The Ford official specified that no further details about the company’s new product can be revealed at the moment.
Ian Pearson pointed out that another topic discussed with the Government was related to the infrastructure.
We have also discussed other key topics, such as the infrastructure which continues to represent a major disadvantage for us. In our previous talks with Romania’s Government we received clear commitments regarding the conclusion of sections 1 and 2 of the express road Craiova-Pitesti, including the two ring roads around Slatina and Bals cities, as well as the work program for sections 3 and 4. I have emphasized yet again to the Government the fact that it is paramount for them to fulfill these commitments. In addition to this express road, we have also requested a clear schedule for the Pitesti – Sibiu motorway and the repair works of railway links Timisoara-Craiova and Craiova-Calafat. Our investment, especially our new investment in Craiova relies on the Romanian Government’s commitments to bring important improvements to the transport infrastructure and we undertake to further collaborate with the Government so as to make sure that these road and railway improvements are finalised, the Ford official said.
Pearson added that in addition to the financial commitment, the company has started the recruitment, by the end of the year of 1,700 people, as part of the growth plans.
This will bring the total workforce at Ford Craiova at about 6,200 people. Certainly recruiting and training so many people will be a challenge, so in the short term we collaborate with local authorities, Mr. President Prioteasa with his team within the County Council, but also with the mayors of the towns and villages around Craiova to present the opportunities for the existing jobs at Ford. In the long run, we have signed contracts with two local high schools to implement a dual education program starting in September. We believe that good education is a necessity for a thriving economy, he said.
Ian Pearson mentioned that last but not least, Ford Romania will continue to play an important role in community life through all the social accountability initiatives developed by the Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic side of the company.
By Andra Beltz