Ford on Friday officially took control of Automobile Craiova, the former Daewoo operation here, for a token payment of $80 million and a promise to invest more than $1 billion. Ford executives said the factory will assemble the Transit Connectin 2009 and a new small car in 2010.
Ford plans to boost the plant’s annual production capacity to 300,000 units and double employment to 7,000. In 2006, Daewoo built only 24,000 vehicles there.
John Fleming, president and CEO of Ford of Europe, said the Transit Connect, a compact commercial delivery vehicle, will go into production in Craiova in mid-2009. The vehicle currently is built only in Turkey, but Ford’s assembly operation there is at full capacity. Earlier this year, Ford announced plans to begin marketing the Transit Connect in the U.S. in summer 2009.