ST. PETERSBURG, Russia -- The 500,000th vehicle has rolled off the production line at the Ford Sollers plant in Vsevolozhsk, near St. Petersburg, Russia. It marked a double celebration as the milestone car was a Ford Focus Wagon – the very first all-new Focus Wagon to be built at the plant.
“It’s great that the half-millionth Ford car to be built in Russia is the first all-new Ford Focus Wagon, the very latest model to our vehicle range,” said Ted Cannis, president and CEO of Ford Sollers.
“Since the first Ford car came off the production line here in Vsevolozhsk in 2002, the Ford brand has undergone enormous change in Russia. Our sales volume has increased five-fold since 2002, and we at Ford Sollers are determined to build upon that success in the years ahead.”
Adil Shirinov, executive director and chief operating officer, Ford Sollers, added: “This 500,000th car is important for the team here at the Vsevolozhsk plant, all Ford Sollers employees, the St. Petersburg area, and for our customers in Russia. Ford is recognised by Russian customers for its safety, craftsmanship, distinctive design, driving dynamics, affordability and – increasingly – for its outstanding technology, and this all-new Ford Focus Wagon has it all.”
The milestone 500,000th car off the line was a top-of-the-range 2.0-litre, candy red Ford Focus Titanium Wagon. Watching the ceremony were Valery Serdyukov, governor of the St. Petersburg region, and Alexander Sobolenko, head of the Vsevolozhsk Municipal Region.
When it opened in 2002, the Ford Sollers plant in Vsevolozhsk was the first complete-manufacturing, non-domestic automotive plant in Russia. It is now one of three plants operated by Ford Sollers. Over 2,700 employees currently work at the plant, producing around 600 cars a day in two shifts. The plant produces the Ford Focus in all three bodystyles: five-door, four-door and wagon. Since 2009, Vsevolozhsk has also built the four-door Ford Mondeo.
History of production at Vsevolozhsk:
• July 2002 – Start of Focus production
• 2003 – Focus becomes best-selling car manufactured in Russia by a non-domestic manufacturer; positioned it retained for seven years
• 2006 – 100,000th Russian-built Focus rolls off the line
• October, 2007 – 200,000th Ford Focus produced
• March, 2009 – Start of Mondeo production.
• March, 2011 – 400,000th Focus produced
• July 2011 – All-new Focus four-door and five-door production begins
• January 17, 2012 – 500,000th car built, and the start of Focus Wagon production
About Ford Sollers
The Ford Sollers joint venture started operations on October 1, 2011, and is responsible for the production, import and distribution of all Ford brand products, including vehicles, parts and accessories, in Russia. The Ford Sollers joint venture includes vehicle production facilities in Vsevolozhsk (St.Petersburg region), and in Naberezhnye Chelny and in the special economic zone of Alabuga in the Republic of Tatarstan. Ford Sollers also will manufacture engines and operate a stamping facility that will provide a higher level of local parts content for Ford vehicles built in Russia. It also plans to establish research and development activities.