Ford Sollers will reduce production at its Vsevolozhsk plant near St Petersburg, the company said today in a statement.
The joint venture between US carmaker Ford Motor Company and Russian auto producer Sollers reported on Friday the change in customer purchase preferences, with a a reduction in demand for “C-segment” cars, referring to compact cars such as its Ford Focus, but a rise in demand for SUVs. The Vsevolozhsk plant makes Ford Focus and Ford Mondeo models, but no SUVs.
“In response to the market, Ford Sollers continues to grow production of SUVs and commercial vehicles, to grow its presence in these fast growing segments,” the statement said.
The plant management has asked union representatives to discuss the reduction of employees from its more than 2,700 staff as production will be suspended for a total of 20 days during August and September, and from September 30 it will move from three to two shifts per day.
The Ford Sollers joint-venture, established in 2011, also has production facilities in Tatarstan and produces eight models in total in Russia including several SUVs: Ford Kuga, Ford Explorer, Ford S-MAX, Ford Galaxy, Ford Transit and Tourneo Custom, as well as the Focus and Mondeo we mentioned earlier.