Russia: Ford to add Fiesta production as Focus declines image

The country’s auto market has collapsed under a crisis triggered by the economic and political situation, leaving global automakers that invested massively into localizing production scrambling for restructuring plans.

The second largest Us automaker, one of the automakers deeply involved in Russia has announced it would start building the smaller and more affordable Fiesta subcompact best-seller in Russia from 2015. The automaker intends to localize the more affordable model in order to counter the lost sales of the larger Focus compact car. The carmaker announced that after starting this week with local partner Sollers the assembly procedure of the EcoSport small SUV, the Fiesta five-door hatchback would soon be produced at the Naberezhnye Chelny plant.

With declining sales since 2013 because of a stagnating economy and a falling local currency, the Russian auto industry this year has replaced double-digit sale increases with double-digit decreases as Western sanctions over the implication in Ukraine further dent the economy – also hit by the recent oil price slide. According to data coming from the Association of European Businesses (AEB), Russia’s 10-month deliveries fell 13% to around 2 million units. Ford’s slide was even deeper – a 41% loss to just 50,226 autos. Focus is even worse – at a 60% dive to just 22,526 vehicles.

Via Automotive News Europe