Two plants in Ford’s joint venture with Russian manufacturer OAO Sollers will experience job cuts as a result of a weakening ruble and decreasing demand by customers in the local market.
Bloomberg says 700 positions in St. Petersburg and 250 temporary positions in the Tartarstan region will be let go by June, while production in the former will lose one shift. The cuts were caused by “the rapid and significant depreciation of the ruble, falling industry sales and a consumer shift away” from small cars toward large SUVs according to Ford, who also reassured that the joint venture would continue to remain committed to the Russian market.
As for the current state of things, sales fell 4 percent in the first two months of 2014, following a 5.5 percent decline in 2013 to 2.78 million vehicles, while the ruble lost 13 percent of its value against the dollar within the last 12 months.
The St. Petersberg plant will also shut down for over four weeks before single-shift production and painting begin June 9. The plant currently builds the Mondeo and Focus.