Production of the EcoSport will commence at a Ford Sollers plant in Tatarstan during the second half of 2014, while the manufacture of three versions of the 1.6-litre Duratec engine will begin at the new engine plant in December 2015.
“This is an important day for Ford Sollers and underscores how serious we are about investing in production in Russia and offering a full range of vehicles for customers in the fast-growing Russian market,” said Ted Cannis, chief executive officer and president, Ford Sollers, yesterday.
Ford Sollers, the JV formed in late 2011 between Ford and Sollers, operates three assembly plants in Russia. In 18 months, Ford Sollers has advanced from building two cars, Focus and Mondeo, to seven vehicles today: Focus, Mondeo, Galaxy, S-MAX, Transit, Kuga and Explorer and Transit. “The demand for Ford SUVs is growing in Russia, and we’re pleased to announce that next year our already strong line-up of SUVs will be supplemented by the Ford EcoSport,” said Adil Shirinov, executive director and chief operating officer, Ford Sollers.
New Russian engine plant investment
The official ground-breaking for the all-new Ford Sollers Elabuga Engine Plant took place in Tatarstan yesterday. It will be the first passenger car engine plant in Tatarstan and will build three versions – 85bhp, 105bhp and 125bhp – of the 1.6-litre, normally-aspirated Duratec petrol engine. Lightweight, durable, economical and with low noise and emissions, the Duratec was the first Ford engine with block, cylinder head, crankcase and pistons all made of aluminium.
The facility will have an annual capacity of up to 105,000 units, with the possibility for further expansion of up to 200,000 engines a year. At least 30 per cent of Russian-built Ford vehicles will be equipped with these engines.
“Russia is a very important part of Ford’s One Ford plan for profitable growth,” said Mark Fields, Ford chief operating officer. “The establishment of an engine plant here in Elabuga is another sign of the commitment Ford Sollers and its parent companies – Ford and Sollers – are making to serve customers in Russia and contribute to the growth of the Russian auto industry.”
EcoSport goes to Russia
Ford Sollers also confirmed the Ford EcoSport small SUV (which is soon to go on sale in India), will be built and go on sale in Russia in the second half of 2014. Based on Ford’s global B-segment platform, the EcoSport will strengthen Ford’s brand presence in the growing SUV and crossover market segment. The Russian range of Ford SUVs already includes the Explorer and the new Kuga.
“We are proud of Ford’s deep and successful SUV heritage,” Fields said. “The new EcoSport is a great example of our One Ford plan, which brings together all of our knowledge and experience in a truly global product development process. We are confident the EcoSport will be a great success with Russian customers in the important and growing SUV market segment.”
“The Russian market will be the largest in Europe in the coming years and represent an important growth opportunity,” said Stephen Odell, Ford executive vice-president and president of Europe, Middle East and Africa.