Ford expected to announce Russia cutback – report

EcoSport output atthe Ford Sollers plant at Tatarstan in Naberezhnye Chelny

EcoSport output atthe Ford Sollers plant at Tatarstan in Naberezhnye Chelny

Ford may close two of three assembly plants in Russia as part of a restructuring of loss-making operations there, a Bloomberg source said, echoing a Reuters report at the beginning of March.

The Bloomberg source said Ford, which operates a joint venture in Russia with local automaker Sollers, planned to make an announcement about the future of its operations there today (27 March). Ford was likely to close one passenger car factory near St Petersburg and another in the Tatarstan region but continue producing commercial vehicles at a third plant, the source told Bloomberg.

Moscow-based Sollers said in a statement to Bloomberg the two companies had reached a new agreement on the future of their venture and were finalising details. Ford had announced in January it was putting the business under review as part of a broader restructuring of its loss-making Europe region.

Ford's 50-50 joint venture with Sollers dates back to 2011 and currently manufactures seven models, Bloomberg noted. The plant near St Petersburg builds Focus and Mondeo, Tatarstan in Naberezhnye Chelny makes the Fiesta and Ecosport and there is also an engine plant and third assembly factory in Elabuga, Tatarstan region, which produces the Kuga, Explorer and Transit.

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