Ford and Russian carmaker Sollers plan joint venture

Ford Motor Co. and Russian automaker Sollers OJSC plan to launch a joint venture in Russia called Ford Sollers, according to a news release.

Ford Sollers will manufacture a range of Ford passenger cars and light commercial vehicles and is expected to start operations by the end of the year.

The proposed joint venture, to be owned equally by both companies, will include local production facilities in the St. Petersburg, Russia area and in the Republic of Tatarstan.

Dearborn, Mich.-based Ford (NYSE: F) began producing cars in Russia in 2002, and it was the first foreign auto manufacturer to do so. Sollers is the second-largest producer of passenger and light commercial vehicles in Russia, according to the release.

“We are delighted to be taking this next step for Ford in Russia with our proposed partner, Sollers,” said Stephen Odell, chairman and CEO of Ford of Europe, in the release. “The benefits provided by the proposed joint venture and the new Industrial Assembly policy will be key enablers to build the Ford brand in Russia and create a profitably growing business.”

Ford has two production facilities in Louisville — Louisville Assembly Plant and Kentucky Truck Plant — that combined employ about 5,400 people. The company expects to add another 1,800 employees later this year and early next year as the Louisville Assembly Plant wraps up a $600 million retooling to produce the next-generation Escape model.

Read more: Ford and Russian carmaker Sollers plan joint venture | Business First

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