US carmaker Ford recorded in February a new record high production at its Romanian plant located in Craiova, with close to 12,000 passenger cars produced, more than double compared to February 2017, Automotive Manufacturers and Importers Association (APIA) data show.

Ford’s Romanian plant produced 11,074 cars in January and 11,991 cars in February, compared to 3,536 units in January 2017 and 5,032 in February 2017.

The production totaled 23,065 units in the first two months of this year, almost triple compared to January-February 2017.

Ford acquired the Craiova plant in 2008 from the Romanian government and began passenger cars production in September 2009 with the Transit Connect model and later with the Ford B-Max.

The Craiova plant has a production capacity of 300,000 units per year, but Ford never reached even half of the maximum capacity.

The production peak recorded in the first two months of this year is due to the new model EcoSport, a small SUV, produced since autumn of 2017 on the background of the growing market for the SUV segment in Europe, after an investment of EUR 200 million in the factory.

Ford exports most of its cars produced in Romania. In January-February 2018, Ford Romania exported 22,594 cars, slightly below the number of cars produced in the same period.

In spite of this production peak, Ford lags behind Renault’s Romanian subsidiary Dacia, which produced 56,666 cars in January-February at its Mioveni plant, according to official data.

In 2017, Ford recorded a total production of 49,771 cars and Dacia produced 313,883 units in Romania.

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