Ford is making a huge step forward in its transition by concentrating its growth ambitions in the commercial vehicle sector and expanding its electric car line in Europe. In this respect, Ford confirmed the transfer of ownership of the Craiova factory to its strategic partner Ford Otosan, a process that is subject to regulatory clearances and discussions.
"This transfer demonstrates how Ford utilizes strategic relationships to maximize the efficiency of current resources through collaborative investment while also using Ford Otosan's significant knowledge. We appreciate this chance to further our relationship with Koç Holdings via Ford Otosan and collaborate on developing this joint venture. The Craiova factory's operation is a success, and we believe that with Ford Otosan's experience and skills in electrification and commercial vehicles, it can achieve an even greater degree of development ", according to Stuart Rowley, Ford Europe's President.
The news adds a new chapter to Ford Otosan's success story, allowing the Craiova factory to play a significant part in the joint venture's future success while supporting Ford's vital electrification goals (Model e) and commercial vehicle lineup (Ford Pro). Simultaneously, this enables Ford Otosan to significantly extend its worldwide presence in vehicle manufacturing and experience.
"This critical deal concluded today will further cement Ford Otosan's position as Europe's top commercial vehicle producer. We are happy to be a member of the Ford team that is responsible for the company's continued dominance in the European commercial vehicle industry. Simultaneously, we are dedicated to becoming a dependable partner for Ford Electrified Vehicles' future success. We think that the introduction of future models, in conjunction with the company's expansion and technology objectives, will provide exponential and exciting potential for the Craiova team. Additionally, we are convinced that by working together, we can secure the Craiova plant's future ", according to Haydar Yenigun, Ford Otosan's general manager.
Simultaneously, Ford said today that the Ford Puma model, the best-selling Ford vehicle in Europe in 2021, will receive a completely electric version in 2024, built in the Craiova facility.
Ford stated last year that starting in 2023 a new light commercial vehicle will be manufactured in Craiova, which will also be available in a completely electric form beginning in 2024. Today, the business announced that this vehicle would be the Transit Courier's next iteration. Additionally, a small multipurpose vehicle dubbed Tourneo Courier will be manufactured in Craiova starting in 2023, followed by a completely electric version in 2024.
"Today's news demonstrates Ford's commitment to extending its automobile lineup, with the Craiova factory playing a critical part in our well-defined ambitions to produce commercial vehicles (Ford Pro) and electric vehicles (Model e) in Europe," he stated. Stuart Rowley, Ford Europe's President.
The next-generation Transit Courier and Tourneo Courier are designed and developed by Ford Otosan, a joint venture with Ford in which Ford and Koç Holding are majority owners in one of the automotive industry's longest-running and most successful collaborations.
The Craiova facility will benefit from a vast network of skills and know-how transfer through the Ford Otosan team's extensive expertise in the design, development, and manufacture of commercial and electric cars due to the ownership transfer.
Ford Otosan's experience with electric propulsion systems was gained by producing the two-tonne Ford E-Transit in Kocaeli, Turkey, which will go on sale this quarter. The next-generation all-electric Transit Custom in 2023 will be used to ensure the Craiova plant's transition to an all-electric future is as smooth as possible.
Ford Otosan will acquire the Craiova facility would facilitate knowledge transfer through vertical integration of electrical technologies. In addition, it will have a beneficial influence on the network of suppliers.
Ford also announced the cessation of manufacturing the Ford EcoSport compact class SUV by the end of this year, as the Craiova facility shifts its focus further toward commercial and electric vehicle production.
Ford has already begun an information and engagement process with Craiova's social partners about the transfer of ownership.
Given Ford's representation on the Board of Directors of Ford Otosan via top management and its involvement in managing the joint venture's operations, the firm will continue to oversee the Craiova operation.
Ford and Ford Otosan anticipate that the ownership transfer announced would be completed in the third quarter of 2022, subject to regulatory clearance and discussions.
Simultaneously, Ford's National Sales Company in Romania and other departments supporting Ford in Europe will continue to function as usual as part of the Ford of Europe framework.
Finally, the Ford Motor Company Fund has pledged to financially support projects at the Ford Center for Resources and Commitment (CRAF) in Craiova for the next four years through its international partner GlobalGiving. GlobalGiving has supported the Craiova community by providing essential services and educational programs.