VIENNA – Ford of Europe will establish a dedicated national sales company in Romania that will take over responsibility for marketing, sales and service from current importer Romcar Srl effective August 2010.

Ford says the decision is the next logical step following a steady increase in vehicle sales in recent years and the purchase of the former Daewoo Automobile Romania SA plant in Craiova.

“With Ford vehicle sales having grown by 38% in the first half, and with vehicle production at our plant in Craiova ready to begin next year, this is an exciting time for Ford in Romania,” says Peter Fleet, director-European sales operations.

Through June, Ford sold 9,350 passenger cars in Romania, up 47.2% from like-2007, to capture a 6.4% share of the market. The Ford brand is ranked No.5 in passenger-car sales behind Dacia, Skoda, Renault and VW.

Ford delivered 2,728 light-commercial vehicles in the first-half, up 12.9% from year-ago, for a 12.4% market share. It is ranked No.3 in LCV sales behind the Dacia and Fiat brands.

Romcar, which belongs to Tiriac Holdings, has served as Ford’s Romanian importer for the past 16 years.

Tiriac Holdings operates several dealerships in Romania and has a controlling interest in the domestic importers for the Jaguar, Land Rover, Hyundai and Mitsubishi brands. Additionally, it has a 49% stake in the Mercedes-Benz Romania Srl joint venture, which serves as the local importer for the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Mercedes, Smart and Mitsubishi Fuso brands.