Russian expansion

Ford of Europe intends to increase capacity of its St. Petersburg Assembly Plant and to start building the new Ford Mondeo for the Russian market.


Ford of Europe intends to increase capacity of its 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 $100m, lifting Ford’s overall St. Petersburg investment to over $330m.


The announcement coincides with the St. Petersburg Plant’s five-year anniversary. Ford was the first foreign automaker to open its own assembly plant in Russia and the Ford Focus has been the best-selling car among non-Russian brands for four consecutive years.


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.


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.