Ford has begun production of the Transit Connect light commercial vehicle at its new plant in Craiova, Romania and will be using the same suppliers that it uses for supply to its Turkish plant in Kocaeli.
The Connect vehicles are brought in CKD kits from the Kocaeli facility and are assembled at Craiova.
As well as the suppliers to Kocaeli, Ford spokeswoman Ana Marie Timis told Automotive Logistics that the company “hopes to establish co-operation with Romanian suppliers, and would like to use as many local services as possible, provided they meet our standards.”
While she wouldn’t confirm which logistics providers the company was working with, Timis said that they included Romanian suppliers new to Ford.
Ford officially took over the former Romanian Daewoo plant in March this year following its purchase of 72% of Daewoo Automobile Craiova from the Romanian government in 2008. It now plans to supply the Transit Connect, initially to Romanian dealers, before rolling it out to dealers in the wider Central and Eastern European markets.
“As stated by John Fleming, the Chairman and CEO of Ford of Europe, Ford continues to encourage the company's existing suppliers to bring business to Romania, either by using Romanian suppliers or establishing facilities of their own in the country,” she said.
The first cars to be totally manufactured at Craiova plant will be launched on the market next year. The company will add a new small vehicle in the “near future” but the company would not reveal any further details, though it will not be the Fiesta or Ka. Earlier speculation on the B-Max is also unconfirmed.
At full capacity the Craiova plant is expected to produce up to 300,000 vehicles per year. The plant will also produce a small displacement, advanced EcoBoost petrol engine with eventual annual production to also hit 300,000.
"Since the first day we became the new owner of the plant in March 2008, our entire team here has been working around the clock to deliver world-class standards of manufacturing quality and efficiency,’ said Fleming. “Once the modernization of the plant is completed and we are running Craiova at full capacity, we will have met our commitment to invest €675m in this new manufacturing facility."