Motor Co. says it plans to invest €675 million ($931 million) in a Craiova, Romania, manufacturing plant if its bid to take a majority stake in the facility is successful.
was the sole bidder July 5 for a 72.4% stake in Daewoo Automobile Craiova, which was bought by the Romanian government after its former owner, Daewoo Motor Co. Ltd., went bankrupt.
Ford has said it is seeking to grow capacity in the burgeoning Eastern European market.
Should Ford’s bid win out, it will upgrade and modernize the plant and increase employment levels from the current 3,900 workers to 7,000, the auto maker says.
The planned investment will boost capacity at the plant from the 24,000 vehicles and 116,000 engines produced in 2006 to 300,000 vehicles and 300,000 engines, Ford says.
Ford officials are discussing their strategy for the plant with Romania Prime Minister Calin Popescu-Tariceanu and members of the privatization committee for Daewoo Automobile Craiova.
“During our negotiations with the privatization committee, we will be emphasizing how important the Craiova plant is to Ford’s long-term strategic manufacturing plans,” says Ford of Europe President and CEO John Fleming in a statement.
“By 2012, we would expect to be spending around €1 billion ($1.4 billion) a year in Romania to support the Craiova plant,” he says. “We are excited about the opportunity. But there is still much hard work to be done before a final agreement is reached.”