Ford has kickstarted volume production of the all-new Puma subcompact crossover at its plant in Craiova, Romania.
The first Puma models rolled off the assembly line on October 8 following a €200 million ($220 million) investment at the facility and the hiring of an additional 1,700 staff to support production of the new vehicle. This takes Ford’s total investment in Craiova to almost €1.5 billion ($1.65 billion) since 2008.
Packing 48-volt mild-hybrid powertrain technology, the Puma becomes the first hybrid vehicle to be manufactured in Romania. The Puma’s production debut also marks another milestone for the Craiova plant, which builds two vehicle lines in parallel for the first time: Puma and EcoSport.
The new Puma is among eight electrified vehicles that Ford is bringing to European markets this year. Earlier in 2019, the carmaker announced that every new Ford passenger vehicle nameplate will include an electrified option – either a mild-hybrid, full-hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or all-electric.
Besides the Puma EcoBoost Hybrid, the list of electrified models launching this year in Europe includes the all-new Kuga Plug-In Hybrid, Explorer Plug-In Hybrid, Mondeo Hybrid Wagon, as well as mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of its Transit Custom, Tourneo Custom, and Transit vans.
Back to the 2020 Puma, it is available to order across Europe now with two versions of the 1.0-liter EcoBoost mild-hybrid powertrain with either 125 PS (123 hp) or 155 PS (153 hp). Depending on the market, the crossover comes in Titanium, Titanium X, ST-Line, and ST-Line X trim levels, with prices starting from £20,845 in the UK and €23,150 in Germany for the base Titanium model.
All models offer a maximum load space of 456 liters (16.1 cu ft) including the MegaBox which eliminates the spare wheel. The crossover is available with technologies including Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Speed Sign Recognition and Lane Centering, as well as premium comfort features such as lumbar massage seats.
“New Puma represents the next chapter in Ford’s human centric design philosophy that is elevating the quality, technology-rich and fun-to-drive DNA of the Ford brand in Europe. I have no doubt that Puma will be a huge success across Europe,” said Ford of Europe president Stuart Rowley.