June 25, 2012

Ford starts volume vehicle production in Romania

Ford Motor Company has started volume vehicle production at its new world-class manufacturing facility in Craiova, Romania. The new vehicle production plant is the result of more than €500-million (nearly $650-million) investment by Ford. In total, Ford is investing
more than €675-million (about $875-million) in engine and vehicle production in Romania.

The first car to be built at Craiova is the Ford B-Max, the innovative new B-segment multi-activity vehicle, which will be manufactured exclusively in the Romanian plant. The Ford B-Max features best-in-class 1.5-metre unobstructed access to the cabin with the central body pillar uniquely integrated into the hinged front doors and sliding rear doors.

The event was attended by Romanian President Traian Basescu, who became the first official customer for the all-new Ford B-Max now rolling off the line at the new factory.

"This is a great day for Ford Motor Company, our Craiova manufacturing facility, and for Romania," said Stephen Odell, Chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe. "This is a world-class facility building two of Ford's most advanced products – the Ford B-Max and the 2012 International Engine of the Year, the 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine – to the highest quality levels for our customers."

The new B-Max goes on sale across Europe later this year, and will be class-leading in fuel economy and CO2 emissions in both its diesel and petrol-engined derivatives. For example, with the Ford Auto Start-Stop system as standard, the 120 ps 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine in the Ford B-Max achieves class-leading CO2 emissions of 114 g/km and fuel consumption of 4.9 l/100 km (57.6 mpg), 15 per cent more economical than its key competitors.

The B-Max will be available with both the 100 ps and 120 ps versions of the 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine, winner of the 2012 International Engine of the Year earlier this month. Both versions of the 1.0-litre EcoBoost also are built in Craiova.

The B-Max also is among Europe's most technologically-advanced small cars. It will offer Active City Stop, which can sense that a low-speed collision is likely and automatically apply the brakes. The B-Max also will be the first car in Europe to offer Ford SYNC with Emergency Assistance, the advanced voice-controlled driver assist system.

Safety is also a key area of strength for the new vehicle. Ford expects the B-Max to be awarded a five-star rating by Euro NCAP under its new and tougher protocol.

"Volume vehicle and engine production at Craiova brings a new level of sophisticated manufacturing to Eastern Europe," said John Fleming, Executive Vice-President, Global Manufacturing and Labor Affairs, Ford Motor Company. "Craiova is today one of the most competitive and modern production sites in Ford's global manufacturing footprint and, indeed, in the global auto industry as a whole, with cutting-edge facilities like its class-leading paint shop."

Ford also confirmed that it is starting to build a second engine at Craiova, a 1.5-litre petrol engine, which will go into volume production early next year. Further details concerning the engine will be released at a later date.


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