Ford may abandon importing and manufacturing passenger cars in Russia
UFA, 26 March 2019. /Bashinform News Agency, Rozaliya Valeeva/ translated by Tatiana Aksyutina/.
Ford may stop to import and produce passenger cars in Russia and remain only in the light commercial vehicle segment (LCV).
According to the Kommersant newspaper, the Ford Sollers joint venture with the participation of the Russian Government is negotiating with potential buyers of the company's assets.
Sollers reported that they were close to deciding on restructuring. It is planned to leave the least profitable segments; the decision is expected to be made in the second quarter.
According to the publication, the basic scenario involves stopping the production and import of Ford cars in the summer of 2019 — the company will keep only LCV.
In particular, it relates to the closure or possible sale of sites in Vsevolozhsk and Naberezhnye Chelny, while the site in Elabuga can be reserved for the LCV release. The manufacture of Ford Explorer and Kuga will also remain in Elabuga.
At the same time, sources of Kommersant note that it is also possible for Ford to leave Russia, following the example of another American automaker, General Motors. This option is supported by the lack of interest of Ford Sollers to special investment contracts (SPIC). As suggested by the Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, all concerns should sign SPICs before July to gain access to industrial subsidies as production in Russia will be unprofitable without them.
The Ford Sollers joint venture was formed in October 2011 by the Ford Motor Company and Sollers with equal participation of the parties. The company produces Ford Focus and Ford Mondeo in Vsevolozhsk (Leningrad Region), Ford Fiesta and Ford Ecosport in Naberezhnye Chelny, as well as Ford Kuga, Ford Explorer and Ford Transit in Elabuga (Tatarstan).
As previously reported by the Bashinform News Agency, Ford is not included in the list of the most popular and sold brands in Russia. The three leading models, according to the data of the Avtostat analytical agency include KIA Rio, LADA Vesta, and LADA Granta. These brands are leading in 12 out of 15 million cities, including Ufa.