Ford is set to invest $300 million to build a new light commercial vehicle in 2023 at its Craiova Assembly Plant in Romania, including an all-electric version due to debut in 2024 – the first all-electric Ford volume vehicle to be built in Romania.
“Ford’s Craiova operations have a strong record of delivering world-class competitiveness and flexibility. 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,” says Stuart Rowley, president, Ford of Europe.
He adds: “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.”
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 Ford’s commercial vehicle sales expected to be all-electric or plug-in hybrid by 2030.
The new light commercial vehicle will also be equipped with some of Ford’s most advanced conventional petrol and diesel engines.
Ford says these will include advanced technology diesel engines from Ford’s Dagenham Engine Plant and transmissions will be sourced from Ford Halewood Transmissions.
Ford’s overall investment in its Romanian manufacturing operations – including today’s investment announcement – is close to $2 billion since acquiring the Craiova facility in 2008.
Significant upgrades have been made to Craiova’s 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. Around 6,000 people are employed in its world-class vehicle and engine assembly operations.
Craiova’s commitment to electrification goes back to October 2019 with the start of the Puma mild-hybrid production, while today’s announcement marks another milestone as Ford is the first manufacturer to announce it will build an all-electric vehicle in Romania. In addition to the Puma, Ford Craiova currently builds the Ford EcoSport small SUV and the multi-award winning 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine.
The brand says the start date for production of the new vehicle and more product details will be confirmed closer to launch.