Ford is taking an important step in the transformation process, consolidating its growth plans in the commercial vehicle market (Ford Pro) and strengthening its range of electric vehicles (Model E) in Europe.
In this context, Ford today confirms the transfer of ownership of the Craiova plant to its strategic partner Ford Otosan, a process conditioned on the approvals of the relevant authorities and subsequent consultations.
“This transition demonstrates how Ford leverages its strategic partnerships to make the most of existing resources through joint investment, while leveraging Ford Otosan’s extensive experience. We welcome this opportunity to strengthen our partnership with Koç Holdings through Ford Otosan and to develop this joint venture together,” said Stuart Rowley. , President of Ford Europe, the plant activity in Craiova is a success and we consider that with Ford Otosan’s expertise and experience in the field of electric vehicles and commercial vehicles, it can reach a higher level of development.”
Ford Otosan is Europe’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer
Today’s announcement opens a new chapter in the Ford Otosan success story and allows the Craiova plant to play a key role in the future of this joint venture, while supporting Ford’s plans for solid electric (Model e) and commercial vehicles (Ford Pro). At the same time, this allows Ford Otosan to expand its international presence in terms of vehicle production and experience in this field.
“This very important agreement reached today will cement Ford Otosan’s position as the largest commercial vehicle manufacturer in Europe. We are proud to be part of the Ford team that maintains superiority in the European commercial vehicle market. At the same time, we are committed to being the trusted partner for success. We believe that the launch of future models, along with growth and technology plans, will provide huge and interesting opportunities for the Craiova team. Moreover, we are confident that together we will build the future of the Craiova plant,” said Heydar Yingün, General Manager of Ford Otosan. .
Puma will get an all-electric version in 2024
At the same time, Ford announced today that the Puma, which in 2021 was the best-selling Ford car in Europe, will receive an all-electric version from 2024, which will be manufactured at the Craiova plant.
Last year, Ford confirmed that from 2023 a new light commercial vehicle will be produced in Craiova, which from 2024 will also be present in the all-electric version. The company announced today that this vehicle will be the next generation Transit Courier. In addition, a multifunctional compact car – the Tourneo Courier – will also be produced in Craiova in 2023, with an all-electric version to be launched in production in 2024.
Stuart Rowley, president of Ford Europe, said.
The Craiova factory will benefit from a wide network of skills and knowledge transfer
The Next Generation Transit Courier and Tourneo Courier are designed and developed by Ford Otosan, the joint venture with Ford, where Ford and Koç Holding are major shareholders in one of the world’s longest-running and most successful partnerships.
Through the transfer of ownership, the Craiova plant will benefit from an extensive network of transfer of skills and knowledge through the extensive experience of the Ford Otosan team designing, developing and building commercial and electric vehicles.
Ford Otosan’s experience with electric propulsion systems by manufacturing the E-Transit buzzer in Kocaeli, Turkey, which goes on sale this quarter and the next-generation all-electric Transit Custom for sale in 2023, will be used to ensure the best possible transition into the Craiova plant’s electric future.
The fact that Ford Otosan will be the new owner of the plant in Craiova will help with knowledge transfer, through the vertical integration of electrical technologies and will have a broad and cost-effective impact on the supplier network.
Production of the Ford EcoSport compact SUV will be complete by the end of this year
Ford also announced that production of the Ford EcoSport compact SUV will end by the end of this year, as the Craiova plant will focus more and more on a future built on commercial and electric vehicle production.
Ford has already started in Craiova the process of information and consultation with the social partners, regarding the transfer of ownership.
Given that Ford is represented on the Ford Otosan Board of Directors by senior leaders and that Ford is involved in overseeing the business of this joint venture, the Company will continue to oversee the business in Craiova.
Ford and Ford Otosan hope that the transfer of ownership announced today will be completed in the third quarter of 2022, subject to approval by stakeholders and after consultations.
At the same time, the national Ford sales company in Romania, as well as other divisions serving Ford at the European level, will continue to operate in the same way as before, and will remain part of the Ford of Europe structure.
Last but not least, the Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic side of Ford, through its international partner GlobalGiving, which has been supporting the Craiova community for many years, by providing basic services and educational programs, has pledged to financially support the projects. Ford Resource and Compliance Center (CRAF) in Craiova, for the next four years.