Romanian in initial talks to attract investment from electrical car producer

By bne IntelliNews April 26, 2016

Romania is negotiating an investment from an electrical car manufacturer, economy minister Costin Borc said on April 26 without naming the possible investor.

Romania already hosts car plants owned by US car manufacturer Ford and France’s Renault. The industry is expected to be boosted in the coming period as new investments have been announced. Ford will start producing the Ford EcoSport small SUV at its plant in the southwest Romanian city of Craiova, while Renault announced 500 new jobs.

Borc says the talks with the possible investor are in their initial stages. “There are some early-stage talks […] Moreover, together with the finance ministry we are looking at a taxation scheme for research and development, not only in the automotive industry, but in general,” Borc said in an interview with Hotnews.ro.

Asked if the electrical car manufacturer which might place an investment in Romania is European or American, the economy minister said: “you only had left to ask me if its name begins with “T” and ends with with “esla”. It could be, it could be.”

Should the investor be the US electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors, Romania would have to compete with Slovakia for the investment. Former Slovak economy minister Vazil Hudak said in March that the Central European country was negotiating an investment with Tesla.

In May Romania will relaunch its vehicle scrappage scheme, which this year will include a new section, called Rabla Plus, aimed at boosting purchases of electrical cars. According to environment minister Critina Pasca Palmer, those planning to buy 100% electrical cars could benefit from a bonus of RON20,000 (€4,468), while those planning to buy a hybrid car could receive a bonus of RON5,000. The budget of the Rabla Plus programme is RON75mn, according to digi24.ro.

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