Russia: Ford plans six new models this year image

Chief Executive Mark Fields was quoted by a German magazine as saying that Ford is still largely committed to the ailing Russian auto market, with six new models coming in 2015 in the country.

The second largest automaker in the US has rolled out the dice and remains committed to its investments in Russia, even as the country has been hit by economic distress and political turmoil. The Russian currency has seen a massive fall last year after economic sanctions against the country came from the western states due to the government’s implication in the political crisis in Ukraine. Additionally, the economy was already lagging since 2013 and the worries increased after a global oil price slump started during the second part of 2014. “Between end-2014 and end-2015 we will bring six new models to market,” said Fields for German weekly magazine WirtschaftsWoche. “There are no bad times for me to introduce a great new model, even if the economic conditions are difficult.”

Russia’s currency and economic trouble last month were cited as the main causes for the Ford of Europe’s division to incur greater than expected losses both last year and in 2015. Other rivals have also incurred major losses or even closed down entirely the Russian operations due to the same factors. When it comes to the regional financial health, Fields deferred from setting any target to end losses: “We’ll cut back the losses this year and want to become profitable again as quickly as possible,” commented Fields. The chief executive also referred in the German language magazine about the company’s prospects in the largest auto market on the globe – China. Fields was quoted as saying that the US automaker intends to double its production output by the end of 2015 when compared to 2013. To reach the target, Ford will construct two new plants and increase capacity at the existing facilities – with a previewed output of 1.4 million cars and 500,000 trucks per year by the end of 2015.

Via Reuters