Romanian Government invests $97.50mln to help Ford production at Craiova image

The Romanian government announced Tuesday it will invest $97.5 million of state aid in Ford Motor Co. to help production at its compact van factory in Craiova – Romania.

Romania had pledged in 2009 to grant Ford 143 million euros (US$187 million) in state aid but Ford failed to manufacture 250,000 vehicles per year until 2011. The U.S. based automaker admitted it was running behind with its plans.

“Ford now plans to manufacture 810,000 vehicles and 1.5 million engines between January 1st, 2013 and December 31st, 2017,” the government said.

“Following the car maker’s revised commitments … the Romanian state aid will amount to 75 million euros,” it added.

End-January, Ford announced it was planning to make 60,000 B-Max cars in Romania this year and some 100,000 cars next year. Between April 2010 and October 2011, Ford manufactured 17,000 Transit Connect cars in Romania.

But production for this commercial vehicle was further moved to Valencia, as the car maker decided to reorganize production in all its European factories.

In 2007, Ford bought a 72.4 percent stake in the state-owned Automobile Craiova, paying $88 million and vowing to invest $1 billion to upgrade and expand car production.

The new Ford B-MAX manufactured in Craiova (southern Romania) will be available to order in Romania as of March 23, and deliveries will be made at the end of July – early August.