Ford Plans To Increase Capacity Of ST. Peterburg Assembly Plant To Meet Customer Demand
Ford of Europe intends to increase capacity of the St. Petersburg Assembly Plant and to start building the new Ford Mondeo for the Russian market under an expansion plan announced today. The capacity increase would represent an incremental investment of more than $100 million, lifting Ford’s overall St. Petersburg investment to over $330 million.
The announcement coincides with the St. Petersburg Plant’s five-year anniversary, and builds on Ford’s leading position in the Russian vehicle market. Ford was the first foreign automaker to open its own assembly plant in Russia and the Ford brand was the Russian market leader among import brands in 2006. The Ford Focus has been the best-selling car among non-Russian brands for four consecutive years.
“The Russian car market has experienced tremendous growth over the last several years,” said Ford of Europe President and CEO John Fleming. “We see consumer demand continuing to rise for stylish cars that offer great driving dynamics – exactly the type of vehicles Ford offers.”
Under the new expansion plan, annual production capacity of the plant is targeted to rise to 125,000 units in 2009 from the current level of 72,000 units. The additional capacity would include 25,000 Mondeo units and 28,000 Focus models. Ford expects to begin production of the new Mondeo for Russia in late 2008, pending government approvals.
The St. Petersburg plant, which employs 2,200 workers, currently makes the Focus in all four body styles: 3-door, 4-door, 5-door and wagon versions. The plant started production in July 2002 with an initial annual capacity of 25,000 units.
Ford continues to strengthen its sales and market position in Russia. Through the first half of this year, Ford sales in Russia were 81,782 units, 122 percent higher than the same period in 2006, when 36,826 vehicles were sold. In addition to the Focus, Ford sells the following vehicles in Russia: Fusion, Fiesta, C-MAX and Mondeo cars; S-MAX and Galaxy MPVs; the Ranger compact pickup truck; Maverick and Explorer SUVs; and the Transit and Transit Connect commercial vehicles.
Ford in Russia Timeline :
1907 – First Ford dealer in Russia opens in St. Petersburg, four years after Ford Motor Company was started in the U.S.
March 1996 – Ford opens sales office in Moscow after six years of commercial operations.
July 2002 – Ford starts production of the Ford Focus at St. Petersburg following initial investment of $150 million.
April 2005 – Ford opens National Parts Distribution Centre outside of Moscow to serve Ford, Land Rover and Volvo brands.
June 2005 – Ford announces plans to increase annual capacity at St. Petersburg to 60,000 units starting January 2006. Increase brings Ford’s total investment to more than $230 million.
April 2006 – St. Petersburg plant produces 100,000 th Ford Focus.
December 2006 – Ford dealer network grows to 124 companies in 81 cities in Russia.
January 2007 – Industry sales figures show Ford is the sales leader for foreign brands in 2006.
Ford of Europe is responsible for producing, selling and servicing Ford brand vehicles in 47 individual markets, including Russia and Turkey. The first Ford cars were shipped to Europe in 1903 -- the same year Ford Motor Company was founded. Ford of Europe now employs approximately 66,000 people. In addition to Ford Motor Credit Company, Ford of Europe operations include Ford Customer Service Division and 22 manufacturing facilities, including joint ventures.
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