After partnering with the Russian company Sollers for the past five years and investing more than $1 billion into car and engine factories, Ford Motor Company is betting on a Russian rebound and still sees the beleaguered country as a long-term play.
Amid GM’s retreat from Russia, Ford stuck to its game plan by spending cash on new models and plants in that country, presumably to avoid a catch-up situation similar to the one it faced in China. According to Automotive News, the commitment paid off in the first quarter of 2016, sending sales up by 93 percent in a market that saw a 17 percent decline over the same period. (Read More…)
Next week, Russian and Japanese dignitaries will assemble in the frigid Siberian port city of Vladivostok to celebrate the opening of the first Japanese car plant in the Russian Far East. On September 6, Mazda will start Russian production of its best-selling CX-5 SUV and the new Mazda6 sedan, says The Nikkei [sub] – most likely after having received an invitation. (Read More…)
Fiat’s plans to build up to 500,000 Chryslers and Jeeps in Russia collapsed last week. Chrysler’s cross-town rival Ford may have had something to do with that. On Friday, Ford and Russia’s Sollers “signed a Memorandum of Understanding under which the parties intend to launch a new 50:50-owned joint venture called Ford Sollers for the production and distribution of Ford vehicles in Russia,” says a Sollers communiqué. Sollers also had been in talks with Fiat, which ended fruitless. The end of the Fiat talks were announced on the same day the deal with Ford was revealed. (Read More…)