The factory was founded in 1976 as the Oltcit joint venture company between the Romanian government (64%) and Citroën (36%). The factory produced cars under the Oltcit and Citroën brands for the domestic and external markets.
The name "Oltcit" comes from the region of Oltenia in Romania, with "cit" being an abbreviation of Citroën. The Oltcit logo is also similar to the Citroën one, but features only one chevron, as opposed to the two found on Citroën's logo, plus the letter "O".
In 1991, as a result of the withdraw of Citroën from the joint venture, the name of the company was changed to Automobile Craiova and production continued under the Oltena brand.
In 1994, the company decided to go into partnership (49%-51%) with Korean company Daewoo Heavy Industries (later Daewoo Motors) as Rodae Automobile. After producing the Oltcit between 1981–1996 (starting 1992 rebadged as Oltena, and as Rodae after 1994), the company started producing the Tico, Cielo and Espero.
In 1997, the name was changed to Daewoo Automobile Romania and a new engine and transmission factory was opened by the company, and by 2001 was also producing the Matiz and Nubira II. However, by this time, the main parent company in Korea had collapsed, due to financial problems in South Korea economy and over-expansion in Central Asia and Eastern Europe.
In 2002, General Motors bought the bulk of Daewoo Motor in South Korea, but did not buy the plants producing Daewoo cars in Romania, Poland, Ukraine or Uzbekistan. Due to this deal, the Romanian company was not allowed to export their products to neighbouring countries any more, or produce newer models by the new GM Daewoo company.
Acquisition by Ford
In 2006, the Romanian government bought out Daewoo's 51% in the joint venture for US$ 60 million. A year later, in September 2007, Ford Motor Company was interested to acquire a 72.4 percent stake in the company for 57 million euro and on 21 March 2008 the acquisition contract was signed and Ford officially took over Automobile Craiova (later transferring the fixed assets to Ford Romania). As of May 2009, Ford acquired a majority 95.63% stake in the company.
Ford Transit Connect, both the passenger carrying and van models, was Ford's first model produced in Craiova, followed by low-displacement car engines and a small wagon, the new Ford B-Max. The plant will add a second, as-yet-unnamed small-segment model.
In March 2016, it was announced that the Ford EcoSport will be built in Romania, at Craiova plant starting from the autumn of 2017, moving production for the European market from the current plant in Chennai, India. This happens on the background of the growing market for the SUV segment in Europe, and will bring an investment of €200 million to the factory.
- Oltcit Special (1981–1985)
- Oltcit Club (1981–1995)
- Citroën Axel (1985–1990)
- Oltcit Club 12 CS (1993–1995)
- Daewoo Espero (1996–1998)
- Daewoo Cielo (1996–2007)
- Daewoo Tico (1998–2002)
- Daewoo Leganza (1998–2002)
- Daewoo Nubira (1998–2008)
- Daewoo Matiz (1999–2008)
- Daewoo Tacuma (2002–2008)
- "Ford-Romanian Expansion" (PDF). Ford Motor Company. 5 May 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 July 2011. Retrieved 31 July 2011.
- Business operations report: Central Asia Economist Intelligence Unit (Great Britain) - 1999. "Daewoo Automobile Craiova The Oltcit legacy — Romania's other producer of passenger cars also derives from communist-era co-operation with a French carmaker, in this case Citroen, which in 1976 formed a joint venture in Craiova in the ..."
- Istvan Oliver Egresi, Geographical dynamics of FDI in Romania - Page 214. The University of Oklahoma, Department of Geography - 2008. "Automobile Craiova/Daewoo The story of Automobile Craiova begins in 1977 when the Romanian government contacted Citroen to establish a joint venture137 to manufacture a certain model of Citroen 138 renamed Oltcit 139."
- "Daewoo Automobile Romania, 6 ani". Daewoo Automobile Romania. Archived from the original on 6 April 2001. Retrieved 27 July 2011.
- "Ford Inches Up Craiova Ownership". Automotives Insight. May 2009. Archived from the original on 2011-07-07.
- "Ford to build low capacity car engines in Craiova, South Romania starting late 2010". HotNews.ro. 16 March 2009.
- "Ford B-MAX enters space race". Auto Express. 12 November 2008.
- "Cum arată Fordul care va fi fabricat la Craiova". MONEY.ro. 28 February 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-07-25.
- "Ford shuffles European production". Autoweek. 14 June 2011. Archived from the original on 18 August 2011. Retrieved 20 December 2011.
- "Ford transfers Transit Connect production to Valencia". Romanian Times. 14 June 2011. Retrieved 20 December 2011.