Ford Sollers, the Ford and Sollers joint venture in Russia formed two years ago, has announced the creation of a new research and development center in Russia.
Ford vehicles sold in the Russian market have been developed through Ford’s global product development system. The new Russian R&D operations will enable Ford Sollers to accelerate the development of Ford products tailored for the Russian market, including unique engineering, support of localization, testing, development of local versions of light commercial vehicles and homologation.
“We’re very pleased that Ford Sollers is fulfilling all the targets that we have outlined two years ago and this confirms Ford and Sollers commitment to the Russian market,” said Vadim Shvetsov, CEO, Sollers.
“Russia is one of the most exciting and dynamic markets for the Ford brand anywhere in the world in terms of its size and specific product demands,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. “That’s why setting up R&D in Russia integrated into our global product development system is another important step in Ford’s brand development in Russia.”
Ford Sollers is manufacturing eight vehicles in two facilities – Vsevolozhsk, Leningradsky region, and Elabuga in Tatarstan. A third manufacturing plant starts operation soon in Naberezhnye Chelny, Tatarstan. Earlier this year, Ford Sollers started work on a new $274 million (10 billion Rouble) engine plant in Tatarstan – the first passenger car engine plant in the region – and confirmed that the EcoSport small SUV would be manufactured and go on sale in Russia in the second half of 2014.