MOSCOW – Ford Sollers, the joint venture business equally-owned by Ford and Sollers, is celebrating its first anniversary.
On October 1, 2011, Alan Mulally, president and CEO, Ford Motor Company, and Vadim Shvetsov, general director of Sollers, announced the start of operations for the joint venture at a special event in Moscow.
The new business was based around Ford’s existing production facilities in St. Petersburg, with two Sollers manufacturing plants in Tatarstan. A Ford Sollers head office also was established in Moscow.
The first production milestone for the new business was the manufacture of the Transit in the Elabuga plant in Tatarstan. The model has proved to be popular. Transit sales in Russia during August 2012 exceeded 1,000 units – the best-ever sales month for the model in Russia. For the first eight months of the year, Transit was the best-selling nameplate in the commercial vehicle segment among foreign brands.
“This is a very important day for our team of experienced and talented employees at Ford Sollers. We’ve achieved a great deal in such a short space of time. Just three months after the business was founded, we built our first Transit in Elabuga, meeting all of Ford’s stringent global quality processes and procedures. By September, we had built 10,000 Transits in Tatarstan,” said Adil Shirinov, executive director and COO, Ford Sollers.
By mid-year 2012, the Kuga, S-MAX, Galaxy and Explorer had joined the Transit on the Ford Sollers assembly lines in Tatarstan. Together with the class-leading Focus and Mondeo, both made in St. Petersburg, Ford Sollers is currently producing seven different Ford vehicles in Russia.
The share of locally-built Ford models now exceeds 95 per cent of all Ford vehicles sold in Russia.
By providing Russian customers with Tatarstan-made Kuga and Explorer vehicles, Ford Sollers is better able to meet rising demand in the SUV segment – the fastest-growing market segment in Russia. In the first nine months of the year, sales of Ford SUVs increased 64 per cent compared with a year ago.
“Because of Ford’s global One Ford strategy, Ford Sollers is able to offer Russian customers a larger choice of high quality and stylish vehicles. We strengthened significantly our SUV line-up thanks to the launch of Explorer and Kuga production – and we plan to go even further!” said Ted Cannis, president and СЕО, Ford Sollers.
From the end of July 2012, Ford Sollers started to hire additional employees at its Elabuga plant to help with the expansion in production. Currently, the plant has more than 1,000 vacancies for technical, engineering and production employees. Over the next four years, Ford Sollers expects to hire more than 4,000 additional employees.
First year milestones:
October 1, 2011 – Ford Motor Company and Sollers OJSC announced the start of operations of their 50-50 joint venture in Russia.
January 2012 – The start of Transit production at the Ford Sollers plant in Elabuga.
January 17, 2012 – The 500,000th vehicle rolled off the production line at the Ford Sollers plant in St. Petersburg.
March 2012 – Focus was named the best car in its class at the annual “Car of the Year in Russia” awards ceremony.
April 24, 2012 – The 500,000th Ford Focus rolled off the production line at the Ford Sollers plant in St. Petersburg.
July 4, 2012 – The 5,000th Transit produced at the Ford Sollers plant in Elabuga.
July 9, 2012 – The Ford Sollers plant in St. Petersburg celebrates its 10 years anniversary.
July 24, 2012 – Ford Sollers announced an extension of the model range produced at the Elabuga plant, (Kuga, S-MAX, Galaxy and Explorer).
September 2, 2012 –Transit deliveres record sales. 1,037 of the models were purchased by Russian customers in August 2012.
September 20, 2012 – The 10,000th vehicle was produced at the Ford Sollers plant in Elabuga. The anniversary vehicle was a black Explorer.