Ford is to build a new light commercial vehicle in 2023 at its Craiova assembly plant in Romania, including an all-electric version due to debut the following year.
The manufacturer acquired the Craiova facility in 2008 and significant upgrades have been made to its vehicle operations in recent years, with more than 600 robots installed to further improve efficiency and quality in the body, stamping, paint, trim and chassis shops.
About 6,000 people are employed in its vehicle and engine assembly operations.
In February, Ford committed that its entire commercial vehicle range will be zero-emissions capable, all-electric or plug-in hybrid, by 2024, with two-thirds of its commercial vehicle sales expected to be all-electric or plug-in hybrid by 2030.
The Craiova plant started production of the Ford Puma mild-hybrid vehicle in October 2019.
Stuart Rowley, president, Ford of Europe said, “Our plan to build this new light commercial vehicle in Romania reflects our continuing positive partnership with local suppliers and the community, and the success of the entire Ford Craiova team.
“Adding an all-electric version in 2024 means Craiova will be our third facility in Europe to build an all-electric vehicle. It follows recent investments this year in the Ford Cologne Electrified Vehicle Centre in Germany and Ford Otosan’s Kocaeli plant in Turkey and sends another clear signal that we are on an accelerated path to providing our commercial vehicle customers with a zero emissions future in Europe.
“This new planned investment in Craiova’s future is a sign of Ford’s hope that the Romanian government will ensure key improvements are delivered to support a competitive manufacturing landscape in the local region, including much needed upgrades to the transport infrastructure.”