While the auto market looks set for disaster today, the second largest US automaker – Ford – is confident the Russian market on the long-term will return to its stellar growth results.
The Russian auto market has been collapsing lately after first showing signs of weakness back in 2013 – in the previous years the double-digit growth margins entitled bullish executives and analysts to forecast it would be able to pass Germany as Europe’s largest market. Now, just as Ford is assuming control over its joint venture with Russian manufacturer Sollers, the American carmaker seems to keep that bullish approach and brings in even more financial support. “While in the short term, Russia remains an extremely volatile and challenging market, we believe the market likely has significant potential in the longer term,” commented Ted Cannis, CEO of Ford-Sollers.
Ford also announced it would directly lead the joint venture business unit in Russia as it premiered the production start of its new generation Mondeo midsize model at the joint venture’s St. Petersburg plant. The Mondeo is only the first in more than four cars planned for introduction on the market this year alone. The move to assume control over the joint venture and consolidate the financial results as of March 31, 2015 would not affect first-quarter financial reports or the full-year forecast for its European division.
At the 160,000-unit per year factory the automaker will also introduce the production of the updated Focus compact during the second part of the year. The assembly facility was thoroughly updated recently and currently produces the Mondeo and Focus models, among others.
Via Automotive News Europe