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Ford transfers Transit Connect production to Valencia

US car maker Ford announced today (Tues) it will stop the production of Transit Connect vans in Romania and its plant in Craiova will produce two models from B series.

Henrik Nenzen, general manager of sales Ford Romania said a second B series model will be built in Romania, next to B-Max.

The production of the net model of the Transit Connect van is going to be transferred to Valencia, Spain. The company representatives said 800 million Euros will be invested in the Spanish plant to produce the new Transit Connect and crossover Kuga.

First B-Max units are expected to be delivered in the second quarter next year.

The Ford official said the plant in Craiova will need more employees when it starts producing B-Max models, at a maximum pace of 350 units per day. More than 90 per cent of the B-Max production will be for export.

First prototypes of the B-Max are currently being made at the Craiova plant, 70 being expected to be ready this summer, for further tests in Belgium, at Ford's test centre in Lommel.

The U.S. carmaker has invested 350 million Euros so far in operations carried out in Craiova.

Ford announced last autumn that it would postpone the start of the production of small class cars at Craiova for one year, which should be produced at a rate of 150,000 units per year.

Ford became the main shareholder in the Craiova-based plant in 2007 after buying a 72.4 per cent stake from the Romanian state for 57 million Euros. Ford later increased its stake to over 90 per cent.

The US car manufacturer launched its first Transit Connect model assembled in Craiova in September 2009.

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