According to a local union official, Ford of Venezuela, the local unit of the second largest US automaker, will start accepting dollars as payments for the pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles delivered in the country.
The move is part of an agreement with the Venezuelan government aimed at reshaping operations that have been heavily impacted by the lack of the US currency, needed to pay shipments of imported parts that were used in the local production facilities of all automakers on the Venezuelan market. The country’s auto production has faltered as the firms try to cope with the government currency controls that have put a cap on dollar trading for twelve years, while companies are also currently unable to repatriate the revenue made by their local business units.
According to Gilberto Troya, president of the United Socialist Victorious Union of Ford workers, the measure is necessary to avoid closing down the factory in Venezuela, which had to halt operations on numerous occasions in recent months because of the lack of available cash to obtain the necessary imported supplies. There are also critics of the move, claiming the sales of cars in dollars is a further sign of economic decay – also limiting the appeal of the models as most of the Venezuelan population has no access to dollars. Ford’s local dealership network will deliver the Explorer Limited and EcoSport SUVs, the Lariat pickup and other three cargo truck models in exchange for dollars. Smaller cars such as the affordable Fiesta would still be priced in the local currency, but the union official hinted the models will become harder to find from now on.