Ford is hoping to keep up with European SUV demand.In a bid to meet growing demand for sport utility vehicles in Europe, Ford announced on Thursday that it has begun production of its compact EcoSport SUV at its factory in Craiova, Romania.
Ford currently builds the EcoSport at its plant in Chennai, India, but demand has outstripped that facility's production capacity. As a result, Ford is starting EcoSport production in Romania to keep up with European demand.
"EcoSport is another example of how Ford is growing our business on our strengths - including world-class SUVs," said Steven Armstrong, Ford group vice president and president, Europe Middle East and Africa. "With demand growing for EcoSport, and compact SUVs in general, now is the right time to localize production in Europe to meet our customers' needs."
Last year in Europe Ford's SUV sales increased by 30 percent. Through the first eight months of 2017 Ford's European SUV sales are up 27 percent.
In order to support EcoSport production in Romania, Ford has invested €200 million into the plant and hired 1,700 new workers.
The Ford EcoSport will go on sale in the United States in early 2018. Those models will be sourced from India.