ELABUGA, TATARSTAN, Russia – Ford Sollers has announced the start of full-cycle production of the Ford Kuga at its plant in Elabuga in the Republic of Tatarstan, Russian Federation.
The announcement was made at a ceremony in Elabuga today by Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman Bill Ford, who is visiting Ford Sollers’ operations in Russia.
“Russia is a critically important country for the Ford brand and we have ambitious growth plans for the region,” said Bill Ford. “In a market where around one-in-three vehicles sold is an SUV, it is important for Ford to have a strong presence with a full portfolio of SUVs that provide customers the highest levels of quality, safety and technology to suit their needs.”
Ford is a global leader in SUVs, with a strong heritage in the design, engineering and sale of SUVs. A full range of Ford’s global SUVs is now being made available to Russian customers.
Ford vehicle production started at the Ford Sollers plant in Elabuga in 2012. The facility manufactures the Ford Transit, Kuga, S-MAX, Galaxy and Explorer. The Kuga has been built at Elabuga since July 2012 in kit form before the start of full production today.
Earlier this week, it was announced the Ford EcoSport SUV would be the first vehicle built in the modernized Ford Sollers assembly plant in Naberezhnye Chelny, Tatarstan, in 2014, and also that the Ford Edge crossover SUV would go into production at the Elabuga plant early next year.
“Ford Sollers has become one of the most ambitious teams in the Russian market,” said Vadim Shvetsov, CEO, Sollers. “We now have a great product portfolio that perfectly suits Russian customers – including the new locally-produced Kuga – which will definitely help to unlock the high potential of the Russian market.”
“Kuga is the fastest growing Ford vehicle in the Russian market, and we’ve sold around 8,000 Kuga SUVs so far this year,” said Ted Cannis, president and CEO, Ford Sollers. “The launch of the full production version of the Kuga will enable us to provide our customers in Russia top level quality and a wide range of specifications.”
Ford Sollers continues to hire additional employees given the expansion in production in Tatarstan. The total number of plant employees in Tatarstan is currently 2,000. By the end of this year, that number will reach 2,500.
“We are fully on track with our ambitious Ford Sollers business plan,” said Adil Shirinov, executive director and chief operating officer, Ford Sollers. “The growth of the demand for our new vehicles, and the leadership of Focus in the C-car segment among foreign brands show that we have the right strategy. We are also looking forward to launching our plant in Naberezhnye Chelny next year, which will further strengthen not only our success in the market but also the Russian auto industry”.