Johnson Controls has officially opened a new seat factory in Craiova, Romania, which will supply Ford’s local assembly plant with complete seat systems for the new B-Max minivan.
Johnson Controls invested €10 million in the new seat factory, which is located right next door to the Ford plant. “Romania is an important part of the growing eastern European automotive market as industry projections expect the country’s automotive market to grow by approximately 80% over the next four years,” Johnson Controls Interiors vice-president Jeff Williams said at the opening.
The Craiova plant will employ 160 people, while Johnson Controls employs 4,500 people in Romania, where it has a seat assembly plant and five seating components plants. JCI recently acquired the automotive business of Romanian company Spumotim which included two polyurethane foam plants in Timisoara and Poiana Lacului.
All seats manufactured in Craiova will have safety belts attached, as the B-Max doesn’t have a center pillar. Ford plans to build 60,000 B-Max this year in Romania and forecasts an output of 100,000 – 150,000 units next year.