Josephine Payne, Ford Otosan Craiova: “This year we will achieve our highest production level ever for the Craiova plant”
“2022 has been a very exciting year for us. We transferred the ownership of the plant. Ford Craiova is now Ford Otosan Craiova and that has brought with it some great advantages. We have the benefit of the knowledge and experience of Ford Otosan as we move into e-mobility, battery electric vehicles.
We are very excited to have that experience as we go forward in 2024 and launch our first battery electric vehicle. It has been an exciting year for us. We have continued to produce during this time, and I think that this year we will achieve our highest production level ever for the Craiova plant,” Josephine Payne, President, Ford Otosan Craiova said during Romanian Automotive Forum 2022 organized by Automotive Today and The Diplomat-Bucharest.
“If we look forward to 2023, we’re very excited to launch our first commercial vehicles here in Romania. We’re going to make passenger cars, and we’re going to make commercial vehicles. As an automotive industry, we account for 12 percent of GDP but most importantly we account for 30 percent of exports.
To export, you have to get stuff out of the country. It’s pretty fundamental. And to get it out, we must have an infrastructure. The train system has to be reliable and faster than it is today. I have a history of saying I can cycle faster than the trains take our cars from Craiova to Curtici. I’ve put on a little bit of weight and I’m still faster than the trains. We’ve got to fix the railways and we’ve got to fix the roads.
We’re excited that the first 40 kilometres of the so-called Ford Expressway is now open. We were hoping for 120 km so when can come and visit our friends from Dacia in Pitesti.
It’s taken 14 years since that commitment was made to Ford to build that expressway. We’ve seen progress, we’ve seen that progress accelerating, but this industry is growing. We’ve put additional capacity into Craiova and for this industry to continue to contribute to the Romanian economy we have to continue to invest in infrastructure, and not only invest, but to deliver on the investments in a timely fashion on those investments.”
Full recording of the conference: