Ford Set To Exit Passenger Car Market In Russia

The U.S. automaker has decided to significantly restructure its Ford Sollers joint venture in Russia in order to improve profitability and focus exclusively on growing its commercial vehicle business.

The move is expected to be finalized in the following months, and will see Ford cease all passenger vehicle production by the end of June, closing its two assembly plants (Naberezhnye Chelny and St. Petersburg), as well as the engine plant in Elabuga.

At the St. Petersburg facility, Ford builds its Focus and Modeo models, while Naberezhnye Chelny makes the Fiesta supermini and the Ecosport crossover. Currently, Ford has the capacity to produce 360,000 cars per year in Russia.

“This represents an important step towards Ford’s target to deliver improved profitability and a more competitive business for our stakeholders,” stated Ford of Europe president, Steven Armstrong. “The new Ford Sollers structure supports Ford’s global redesign strategy to expand our leadership in commercial vehicles and to grow the business in Europe in those market segments that offer better returns on invested capital.”

Because of the pressure faced by the Russian passenger car market in recent years, and a shift towards lower priced segments, the Ford Sollers manufacturing plants had become underutilized, offering inadequate returns on invested capital. At the same time, sales of the Ford Transit 2.0 tonne continued to grow – the Transit stands as Russia’s best-selling non-domestic commercial vehicle, with a 15% segment share.

In the new structure, Sollers PJSC will be taking a 51% controlling stake in the joint venture.

“We look forward to starting the next chapter of our long-term partnership with Ford in Russia,” said Sollers CEO, Vadim Shvetsov. “We believe our decision to focus on the Russian light commercial vehicle market will result in a stronger performing joint venture, and enables us to benefit from future market growth in this segment.”

Unfortunately this also means that significant “employee separations” are required, and will take place through voluntary programs.

“While the actions we are announcing today are difficult, they are critical to ensure the long-term viability of the Ford Sollers business. The Ford Transit line-up is the leader among foreign commercial vehicle brands in Russia, and has tremendous potential for further profitable growth in the years ahead,” added Adil Shirinov, CEO Ford Sollers.

Ford Sollers also confirmed that it would continue to meet warranty and service requirements for current and future owners of all Ford vehicles purchased in Russia.

Aside from restructuring its joint venture in Russia, Ford is also planning on ending production at its Aquitaine Industries plant in Bordeaux, France this August, and possibly ending production of the C-MAX and Grand C-MAX at the Saarlouis Body and Assembly Plant in Germany.

more photos...
  • EL CHAPO THA GREAT

    Ford, this is not a good look for the future.

    • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

      Yeah, focusing on profitability is such a bad thing for a company….

      /s

  • TOMSON

    Bad time for the Industry, seems many OEMs will kick out thousends of workers and employees to satisfy the shareholders a bit more…

This Chevy Camaro Has Turned To The Dark Side, Sith Lords Don’t Approve

Underneath this badly executed body kit, which comes bundled with all sorts of unusual add-ons, lies a sixth-gen Camaro.

V8-Powered Ford Fusion With 450 HP And RWD Is The Closest Thing To A Mustang Sedan

Not content with the stock 325 HP twin-turbo V6, the owner of this saloon fitted a tuned Coyote engine and a 2007 ‘Stang GT500 transmission.

Kevin Hart’s Plymouth Barracuda Crash Investigated By Californian Authorities

The California Highway Patrol may recommend modified cars like Hart’s are fitted with five-point safety harnesses.

2020 Genesis G90 Vs. 2019 Mercedes S-Class: Underdog Takes On Top Dog

The 2020 G90 is fantastic value for money, but is it good enough to take on the luxury segment’s benchmark?.

Here’s a Close Look At The ID.3, Volkswagen’s Most Important New Car In Many Decades

The all-new compact electric hatchback is available in three different battery and electric motor configurations.

Mercedes SL 73 AMG: Rarer Than A Pagani Zonda And The Coolest R129 Of Them All

If you like 1990s AMGs, this SL 73 is the pick of the decade, packing a healthy 525 HP and being made in no more than 50 examples .

What Is BMW Testing With This M8 Prototype At The Nurburgring?

One possibility is that it’s an even more hardcore variant of the Competition, and another that the rear wing is going to be offered as an M Performance part.

Bugatti CEO Reveals More Track-Focused Chiron Variants Are Coming

Now that it has made a point about its hypercar’s top speed with the 300+, Bugatti will turn its attention to other aspects like power-to-weight ratio and ultimate handling.

Check Out This Frosted Glass Blue Audi R8 Coupe With A Dual-Tone Interior

Adding an Audi Exclusive color to your R8 V10 Coupe will cost you nearly $4k in the States for a matte finish – otherwise, you’re looking at close to $7k.

Ford Sells Its Canvas Vehicle Subscription Service To Fair

Canvas only served a reported 3,800 customers, while Fair’s app-based subscription program has been downloaded more than 3.2 million times.