“I hope to see Ford producing 250,000 vehicles annually in Romania, which would mean a major contribution to the Gross Domestic Product and exports. I think we should consider that 18 months from now”, said Vladescu after signing the loan provision agreement with the European Investment Bank for the €400 million credit facility.

The loan is part of a larger facility of €600 million of which €200 million will go to Ford activities in Germany.

The Romanian government provided state guarantee for 80% of the loan under the European Commission’s temporary framework for state aid measures. Wolfgang Schneider, Vice President, Governmental and Legal Affairs, Ford of Europe said “without this guarantee, we wouldn’t have had the possibility of benefiting of the funding”.

The EIB loan will finance investments in the Craiova Ford plant for the facilities and tooling needed for the production of a new B-segment vehicle with a start of production in the near future and production of the existing model of the light commercial vehicle and a new model scheduled to be launched later. EIB funds will also help to introduce the production of a new small, advanced-technology petrol engine with low fuel consumption. It is envisaged that expanded production capacity will represent an annual output of up to 300 000 vehicles and 300 000 engines, according to EIB release.

“We have already began the production of light commercial vehicles at Craiova, and we will soon start to roll out a small vehicle,” said the representative of Ford.

“The loan will help to assist in the plant's ongoing transformation into a world-class manufacturing facility for vehicles and engines”, Schneider added.