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High level support for FORD's investments in Romania

President Traian BASESCU said, on the 22nd of March, at the Cotroceni Palace, after meeting Stephen ODELL, Vice President of FORD Motor Company and CEO of FORD Europe, that he is convinced that the group's investment at Craiova will be a success, adding that the DACIA project proves Romania is able to support such an investment, Money.ro informs.

"Romania will continue to support the investment, even though more talks must be held with the partners in Brussels", the head of state mentioned.

On the other hand, President BASESCU congratulated the FORD official for the company being able to overcome the financial crisis, while also keeping its Craiova-based project on track. In the context, Stephen ODELL thanked the President for his support and said that FORD considers the Romanian project as very important.

The meeting was also attended by Stephen BIEGUN, Vice President of International Governmental Affairs for FORD Motor Company, and Wolfgang SCHNEIDER, Vice President, Legal, Governmental & Environmental Affairs of FORD Europe. The meetings are part of the briefing process between FORD and Romanian authorities on the evolution of the Craiova project, the FORD officials stated. The meeting between the FORD delegation and the Romanian Executive was the first since the unveiling of the FORD B-Max model at the Geneva Motor Show - the model that will start being assembled late this year at Craiova.

The meeting between the FORD officials and the Romanian President and Premier came in the wake of Monday's meeting (editor's note: the 21st of March) between PM Emil BOC and David COTE, Chairman and CEO of US industrial group HONEYWELL, over a state aid to an investment project worth EUR 100 million, which might however be increased to as much as EUR 200 million, Ziarul Financiar reports.

Romanian authorities granted a state aid worth EUR 143 million to FORD company during the 2008-2012 interval, along with a state guarantee for 80 pc of a EUR 400 million loan taken from the European Investment Bank (EIB). Last year, Stephen ODELL - the acting chief of FORD Europe - and John FLEMING - the former head of the company, who laid the ground for the FORD Craiova project - announced that new negotiations were carried in view of modifying the privatisation contract through which the company pledged to invest EUR 675 million by 2012, and to bring the effective output of the plant to 300,000 vehicles the same year.

According to FORD officials, the Craiova-based investment will be completed in 2013, when the plant will reach the nominal capacity of 300,000 units, but the effective output will be near 225,000 units most likely, according to earlier statements of John FLEMING. The investment got delayed by the economic crisis that hit European industry.

Published on 23.03.2011

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