MOSCOW Russia – Ford Sollers announced today it is expanding its lineup of Ford sport utility vehicles produced in Russia to meet rising demand.
The two-year old joint venture between Ford Motor Company and Sollers said it will begin full-cycle production of the Ford EcoSport SUV next year at its modernized vehicle assembly plant in Naberezhnye Chelny, Tatarstan. It also was confirmed the Ford Edge crossover SUV will go into production at the Ford Sollers assembly plant in Elabuga, Tatarstan, early next year.
“The Ford EcoSport and Ford Edge, which have proved to be great successes around the world, will give Russian customers two new stylish, fun-to-drive options from Ford’s family of SUVs,” said Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman Bill Ford, who currently is visiting Ford Sollers’ operations in Russia.
“In addition to strengthening the Ford brand in Russia, production of these vehicles will create jobs and prosperity for the local community and help build a strong Russian auto industry for the future.”
Vadim Shvetsov, CEO, Sollers, added: “This year has been unbelievably productive for the Ford Sollers business. The team has launched the full cycle production of the Ford Explorer in the Elabuga plant, began construction of a new $274 million (10 billion Russian Roubles) engine plant in Tatarstan, plus announced the creation of an R&D center in Moscow, with operations in the Leningradskaya Oblast and Tatarstan. Today’s announcement helps to maintain the momentum the Ford Sollers business has achieved over the past two years since its creation.”
When it starts production next year, the Naberezhnye Chelny plant will be Ford Sollers’ third vehicle manufacturing facility. The company already builds vehicles in Vsevolozhsk in the Lenigradskaya Oblast, and Elabuga in Tatarstan.
“I’m very happy that we were able to modernize and retool the Naberezhnye Chelny plant in such a short time period. This also will enable us to create additional jobs in Tatarstan, where we will recruit 500 more people this year,” said Adil Shirinov, executive director and chief operating officer, Ford Sollers.
“The Ford EcoSport and Ford Edge will be winning additions to the Russian range of Ford SUVs which already includes the Ford Explorer and Ford Kuga and will strengthen Ford’s brand presence in the growing SUV and crossover market segment,” said Ted Cannis, president and CEO, Ford Sollers. “Like the other Ford vehicles built by Ford Sollers, the EcoSport and Edge will be tailored to the demanding needs of our Russian customer.”
Based on Ford’s global B-segment platform, the EcoSport combines small car agility and fuel efficiency with the flexibility, spaciousness, four-wheel drive or front wheel drive, high driving position and style of an SUV. The car will be equipped with either 1.6-litre or 2.0-litre engine and a choice of manual or automatic transmission.
The stylish, well-equipped EcoSport interior offers space for five people and their gear, and outstanding levels of comfort and quiet operation. EcoSport also will offer a comprehensive package of driver assistance technologies including Electronic Stability Program, Hill Launch Assist, SYNC voice-activated in-car connectivity system and Keyless Entry & Start system.
The Ford Edge is a versatile crossover SUV that delivers the most powerful engine in the class and an array of smart technologies. It is positioned in the Ford SUV line-up between the full-size Ford Explorer and more compact Ford Kuga. It will be equipped with a powerful, efficient 3.5-liter engine paired with an automatic transmission and Intelligent All-Wheel Drive. Already a sales success in a number of markets around the world, the Ford Edge will go on-sale in Russia towards the middle of next year.
Ford Sollers joint venture is responsible for the production, import and distribution of all Ford brand products, including vehicles, parts and accessories, in Russia. Ford Sollers joint venture includes production facilities in Vsevolozhsk (St. Petersburg region), Naberezhnye Chelny and Elabuga (The Republic of Tatarstan) and headquarters located in Khimki (Moscow Region).