Ford again pauses Romanian B-Max output image

Ford Motor Co. will halt production at its Romanian car factory for an extra seven days ahead of the Christmas break in December because of continued low demand in the European market.

Ford Romania employs about 4,000 people, almost all of whom will be affected by the production halt and will receive 80 % of their pay during the stoppage. Earlier last month the U.S. carmaker’s regional chief said Ford’s European turnaround was gaining traction as the auto market stabilizes.

With a 10-month volume of 60,482, the B-Max was Ford’s No. 4 seller in Europe after the Fiesta, Focus and C-Max, according to market researcher JATO Dynamics.

“In response to the plight of the European market, Ford Romania continues to adjust production volumes at its plant in Craiova in December,” Ford Romania’s spokeswoman Ana-Maria Timis said. “Vehicle and engine production will be stopped for seven days, between Dec. 12 to 20. Beginning with Dec. 23, our factory will be closed for the winter holidays.”

Engine production will restart on Jan. 6 while car output will begin again on Jan. 8, she added.

Ford took over struggling local carmaker Automobile Craiova in 2008 and started producing its B-Max model there last year. It now produces roughly 370 cars a day as well as 1,000 engines for several models, but since September it has paused production for several days each month.