News: Ford Romania will stop manufacturing the B-Max minivan for 13 days in November. The move came in response to low European demand. The unit will also halt engine production for eight days in November during the same period. Currently, the unit produces around 370 cars per day as well as 1,000 engines for various models. Around 4,000 people employed by Ford Romania will receive only 80% of their salaries during the stoppage.
BMI View: US auto manufacturer Ford Motor already halted production at its site in Romania for 13 days in October on the back of poor sales in Europe. BMI maintains a bullish view on autos production in Romania, however, predicated on competitive wages and ongoing investment from autos manufacturers. This latest closure is more reflective of the weak sales environment amongst the main export destinations. Our bullish autos production view for Romania is predicated on a number of factors. Wages in the country remain competitive, even compared with its regional peers. Further, a number of autos companies across the supply chain have invested in the country, allowing the segment to mature.