President Klaus Iohannis and Prime Minister Mihai Tudose have attended on Thursday, at the Ford Plant in Craiova, the launching of the EcoSport SUV, the car maker’s latest model.
President Iohannis: Foreign investments consolidate the Romanian capital and this can be seen in Craiova
In his speech at the plant, President Klaus Iohannis said: “The performance of the Romanian automotive industry has to be further strengthened. Romania has a great economic potential, which is confirmed by many investors. It is very important that Ford is carrying on the tradition in Craiova in regard to the automotive industry. By extending and upgrading the plant, another 1,700 jobs have been created. Craiova thus becomes an important industrial centre, which shows us that the foreign investments and the Romanian capital must be supported alike. The adverse policies are damaging for everyone. Foreign investments consolidate the Romanian capital and this can be seen in Craiova. There are no shortcuts on the road to prosperity, no matter how many politicians claim they are capable of inventing one. To benefit from higher investments, we need a transport infrastructure, which must be the zero priority. I have discussed with the Prime Minister these issues and I was given the necessary assurances. Today’s event is also important in terms of the strategic partnership between Romania and the US. I hope that the Ford model we celebrate today will become a new success story both for Ford and Romania.”
The head of state stressed that Romania’s imperatives in terms of infrastructure are necessary “not only to make the automotive industry more attractive and competitive, but also to enable Romanians to travel efficiently and safely, so that Romania’s development can have solid and healthy bases.”
Ford Romania CEO John Oldham: Craiova, the only place in Europe where EcoSport is produced
In his turn, Ford Romania CEO John Oldham has said that the road started ten years ago and that the plant has grown step by step until reaching the point when it plays an important role in the Ford Europe division. He highlighted that the 1.0 litres EcoBoost engine is produced in Craiova, an engine equipping one in five Ford cars sold in Europe. Today, Craiova becomes the only place in Europe where the EcoSport SUV model is produced, I believe Craiova is the ideal home for EcoSport, John Oldham said. He also expressed confidence in the future and on high quality production, capital.ro informs.
PM Mihai Tudose: I am a car lover
PM Mihai Tudose said that two years ago, when the new model was announced, he had been sceptical. “And yet it is happening. The company representatives take pride in the people working in the plant. There was talk about infrastructure. I’ve said we are not going to build infrastructure for a plant, but for Romania. I can say we are on schedule. This week, next week, things will happen. It is a commitment we want to meet. I am a car lover and it is not to be ignored that such a company is here in Romania,” PM Tudose said.
Steven Armstrong – Ford Motor Co. Vice-president and Ford Europe President: Improving the infrastructure, vital
Steven Armstrong – Ford Motor Co. Vice-president and Ford Europe President said the event today is not only about EcoSport, it is also about the people working at Ford Craiova. He said these people should be proud of what they have achieved and look confidently to the future. Since 2008, the investments in Craiova have exceeded EUR 1 billion. We are glad the government and the local authorities admit the need to improve the transport infrastructure, they are vital for producing the EcoSport, Armstrong said.
US Ambassador Hans Klemm: The investment proves the company’s confidence in Romania
The US Ambassador in Romania, Hans Klemm, has recalled that his brother worked for Ford and his father as engineer for about 40 years and that Ford is a company who respects employees. As we celebrate today the launching of Ford EcoSport, a EUR 200 million investment, this proves the company’s confidence in Romania as it adds to former major investments, the US envoy said.
The Craiova plant produced the last unit of B-MAX on September 1, following the plans announced by the company to replace it by the EcoSport SUV.