Ford is considering making further investments into its Russian operations, even if the market keeps going down.
The Russian automotive market further decreased by another 10 percent last month, following the 13.4 percent drop a month earlier. As for the January-March timeframe, figures fell by nearly 17 percent, to reach to 319,092 units. Nevertheless, Ford made a serious jump in March, boosting its sales by 120 percent, to over 4,000 cars, while the first quarter saw an equally impressive result, with 93 percent more units delivered compared with the same period of 2015. Therefore, on this solid ground, the US automaker considers to increase its investments, wanting at the same time to be ready for a comeback of the auto market.
“We will continue to invest, and we are thinking now about what our next investment cycle in Russia will be,” Mark Ovenden, chief executive officer at the company’s local joint venture Ford Sollers, recently said in an interview. “We see Russia as a long-term play.” Ford’s sales improvement came on the back of last year’s push, when Sollers started to build the new Focus, Mondeo, Fiesta, Transit van and Explorer models.
But until the sales fall stops and the Russian ruble gests stronger, Ford is taking into consideration expanding its exports by targeting markets in Eastern Europe and beyond. If the European market keeps growing, “there may be export opportunities, driven by the shortage of capacity in western Europe,” he said.