Russia: Ford rev up production to meet demand image

Ford Motor Co on Tuesday said that the company will move to a three shift production pattern at its St. Petersburg, Russia plant in order to meet demand for its Focus and Mondeo models.

“The shift to a three shift production pattern is further evidence of the recovery in the Russian economy and increasing demand for both Focus and Mondeo, ” said Gray Greenway, Ford Motor Company ZAO General Director.

With sales of over 67,000 units in 2010, the Ford Focus was once again the best selling foreign made car in Russia and continues to attract customers through its unbeatable combination of safety, technology and value.

Earlier this year, Ford teamed up with Russian car maker Sollers to expand its presence in the booming Russian car market. The 50-50 venture, called Ford Sollers, is scheduled to start at the end of 2011. Ford will “clearly” manufacture at least 300,000 cars locally a year, a criteria that needs to be met to qualify for Russian tax and tariff breaks, Mulally said

The joint venture will also produce a B+ type sedan, which will be an absolutely new model, which has never been presented on any of the markets. This new compact car has been developed by Ford as a rival to the VW Polo and other low-end cars sold in Russia but will appear on the market only in 2014.

In Russia, the total industry sales volume of vehicles was about 2 million units in 2010 – an increase of 31% from 2009, largely due to government stimulus. Before that, industry sales volumes had fallen nearly 50% in 2009 as a result of the economic crisis.