Craiova, Romania – Ford has begun production of the Transit Connect commercial vehicle at its new manufacturing plant in Craiova, Romania, which will also produce a small car in the near future.

“Today marks another step in the evolution of the Craiova Plant, and demonstrates that we are keeping our promise to transform Craiova into a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility,” said John Fleming, chairman and CEO of Ford of Europe.

The company did not name the upcoming new vehicle, but said it would not be the Fiesta or Ka. The plant will also produce a small-displacement EcoBoost gasoline engine. Ford said it would announce the timing of both at a later date. At full capacity, Craiova will be able to produce up to 300,000 vehicles and 300,000 engines annually, and employ approximately 7,000 people.

The first Transit Connect off the line was donated to Craiova Municipal Hospital for use in its work with the local community. The plant will initially supply Ford dealers in Romania; later, the company plans to export most of production to Central and Eastern Europe.

“Since the first day we became the new owner of the plant in March 2008, our entire team here has been working around the clock to deliver world-class standards of manufacturing quality and efficiency,” Fleming said. “Once the modernization of the plant is completed and we are running Craiova at full capacity, we will have met our commitment to invest 675 million Euros in this new manufacturing facility.”

Ford first opened a sales office and production plant in Romania in the 1930s.

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