Ford does not have significant operations in Russia but it sells commercial vans through the Sollers Ford Joint Venture
Amid the ongoing war, Ford Motor Company has decided to suspend its operations in the Russia as it has cited concerns over the invasion of the Ukraine. With this the Blue Oval has joined various other companies who have pledged to suspend business in the country.
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Stating the company’s decision, an official statement that was issued recently read:“While we don’t have significant operations in Ukraine, we do have a strong contingent of Ukrainian nationals working for Ford around the world.” It is worth mentioning here that the popular US carmaker reduced its operations in Russia even before the conflict and was ever since focussed only on commercial van production and its sales through the Soller Ford joint venture in which the American carmaker has a minority stake.
As per research firm Wards Intelligence, Ford Motor Company sold around 21,000 vehicles in Russia in 2021. In line with this, Sollers produced over 20,000 trucks in the country last year. Other than suspension of operations in Russia, the US-based carmaker also announced that it would donate USD 100,000 to the Global Giving Ukraine Relief Fund to help the citizens of the country who have been displaced in the war.
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The Ford Sollers Joint Venture was established back in 2011. The JV has been responsible for the manufacturing, import and distribution of all Ford vehicles, pats and accessories, in Russia. In 2019, the US carmaker completely stopped selling passenger vehicles and limited itself to the sales of just a commercial van range. This was a result of prolonged underutilization of the Ford Sollers manufacturing plants and inadequate returns on invested capital. On the other hand, the Ford Transit 2.0 tonne commercial vehicle has been selling in good numbers in Russia and its popularity has grown over the years. It was, in fact, even acclaimed as Russia’s top-selling, non-domestic commercial vehicle nameplate with a market share of over 15 percent. As a part of the restructuring that too place in 2019, Ford and Sollers continued working in partnership but the latter took a 51 percent controlling stake in the revised JV.