Ford Might Assemble EcoSport in Romania for European Market

Ford Ecosport in Romania 1 photo
Photo: original image by autoevolution
During the presentation of the all-new Edge, which will go on sale in Europe in 2015, it has been revealed that Ford believes SUVs are the key to future sales growth.

According to company data, SUVs will have a 21% share of the total European market by 2018, more than double the 10% average achieved between 2008 and 2013. As such, Ford will expand its lineup from one to three vehicles – EcoSport, Kuga and Edge.

Obviously, the larger Edge is a true novelty for European consumers, who are used to seeing Fords as small city runabouts, like the Fiesta. “We believe it is the right time to introduce a larger, more upscale SUV at the top of the Ford portfolio here in Europe,” said Barb Samardzich, chief operating officer, Ford of Europe.

The much smaller EcoSport could also play a substantial role. It hasn't been specifically designed to appeal to European consumers and as such has a number of quirks, such has the boot-mounted spare-wheel. However, with more than 16,000 orders so far this year, it's doing quite well, showing demand for cheap and practical Fords like the old Fusion still exists.

If sales of the EcoSport in Europe reach the 100,000 predicted by company analysts, it's almost certain that production will move to one of Ford's domestic factories. The break-even point where imports from India stop being attractive is 60,000, after which the Romanian factory in Craiova will most likely be considered.

Ford currently makes the B-Max supermini MPV in Romania and suplements 1-liter EcoBoost production. However, Craiova it's currently running well under capacity and has announced numerous breaks during the summer.

"Over the next five years we plan to outpace the industry growth and more than triple our SUV sales here in Europe," de Waard said. "More customers than ever before are buying Kuga, we have very high expectations for EcoSport, and when Edge joins them in our showrooms we’ll have a full family of utilities, all leaders in design, remarkable technology, smart features and real capability."
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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