Ford’s joint venture in Russia, Ford Sollers, announced it will make an investment of $274 million to build a new powertrain facility in Tatarstan.
The powetrain plant will be located in Elabuga where Ford Sollers already manufactures vehicles. At this new plant the automaker will produce three different versions of the 1.6 liter Duratec engine beginning with December 2015.
“The Russian market will be the largest in Europe in the coming years and represent an important growth opportunity, ” Ford Europe chief Stephen Odell said in a statement.
The engine facility will employ 500 workers and will have an initial annual capacity of 105,000 units, but this can be expanded to a total capacity of 200,000 units annually. At least 30% of Ford’s vehicles manufactured in Russia will be fitted with these engines. Ford Sollers also announced that that production for the EcoSport small SUV will begin in the second half of 2014 at one of the two facilities in Tatarstan.
“The demand for Ford SUVs is growing in Russia,” said Adil Shirinov, executive director and chief operating officer at Ford Sollers.
If 18 months ago Ford Sollers was manufacturing two models, the Mondeo and the Focus, now the JV manufactures seven models, including the Explorer, the Kuga, the S-Max, and the Galaxy.