PITESTI, Romania (Jan. 22, 2008) — According to supplier sources in Romania, Ford is enlisting their help to start production on schedule at a Romanian plant while the firm is being investigated.
A deal Ford made with the Romanian government is on hold while the European Commission reviews the auto maker for possible competition violations. Issues being investigated include employment guarantees and Ford´s demands for protection against previous debts to Daewoo Motor, the former owner of the plant in question.
Ford planned to begin production of a small car at the Craiova, Romania, plant by the end of the year, producing 300,000 units annually with 60 percent local content by 2011. Ford agreed to pay $83.4 million to acquire the government´s 72.4 percent stake in the plant. It also committed to spend another $987 million to upgrade it.
Some suppliers said, to keep this deal alive Ford has begun sharing plans and specifications with them in a bid to jump-start production when clearance comes.
A Ford spokesman confirmed that the company has held initial discussions with suppliers in Romania, but declined to elaborate.