By John Revill, Automotive News Europe
Craiova Romania -- Ford of Europe has invited 40 automotive suppliers to Romania to discuss supplying its Craiova plant.
Ford will brief the partsmakers on its plans for transforming the former Automobile Craiova plant at the meeting there tomorrow (September 3).
Ford of Europe CEO John Fleming said the carmaker wants to encourage its suppliers to set up operations in Romania either by using Romanian suppliers or establishing factories of their own.
Ford would not be announcing any additional investments or employment action, Fleming said in a statement.
Most of the companies invited to the meeting already supply Ford's seven other vehicle assembly plants in Europe.
Invitations have also been sent to some Romanian companies that currently do not have any business links with Ford.
"The supplier conference in Craiova is part of our supplier engagement strategy and a next logical step in the planning and preparation of our production at the plant," said Birgit Behrendt, vice president purchasing, Ford of Europe.
Ford formally took over the former Daewoo plant in Craiova, which is110km west of Bucharest, in March. It agreed to pay 57 million euros to acquire the Romanian government's 72.4 percent stake in the plant.
Ford will start producing its Transit Connect vehicle in Craiova in mid 2009 and add a second product, a small car, in mid-2010.
Ford has pledged to be producing 300,000 vehicles a year there with 60 percent local content by late 2011.
From Automotive News Europe (A Crain publication)