October 01, 2012

Ford Sollers celebrates its first anniversary

Ford Sollers, the joint-venture business equally-owned by Ford and Sollers, is celebrating its first anniversary.

Last year 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 Vsevolozhsk (Leningrad Region), with two Sollers manufacturing plants in Naberezhniye Celny, Elabuga (Tatarstan), and also established a Ford Sollers head office in Khimki (Moscow Region).

The first production milestone for the new business was the production of a new vehicle in Elabuga, the Ford Transit. Transit sales in Russia during August 2012 exceeded 1,000 units – the best-ever sales month for Transit in the country. For the first eight months of the year, Transit was the best-selling nameplate in the commercial vehicle segment among the 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 very first Transit in Elabuga, meeting all of Ford's stringent global quality processes and procedures. By September, we had already built 10,000 Transits built in Tatarstan," said Adil Shirinov Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, Ford Sollers.

By mid-year 2012, the Ford Kuga, Ford S-Max, Ford Galaxy and the iconic Ford Explorer had all joined the Ford Transit on the Ford Sollers assembly lines in the 'Alabuga' Special Economic Zone. Together with the class-leading Ford Focus and Ford Mondeo made in Vsevolozhsk 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 Ford Kuga and Ford Explorer vehicles, Ford Sollers is better able to meet the demand in the SUV segment – the fastest-growing market segment in Russia – for these tried and tested Ford models. In fact, during the first nine months of the year, sales of Ford SUVs increased 64 per cent compared to 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.


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