Russian carmaker Sollers and U.S. auto giant Ford will invest $1.4 billion in a new joint venture to 2020, which will double Ford's market share in Russia within five years, Russian business daily Kommersant said on Tuesday.
On February 18, Sollers signed a memorandum of understanding on setting up a car production joint venture with Ford in Russia, halting talks on setting up a joint venture with Italian car maker Fiat SpA. The issue of intellectual property had been a major stumbling block in negotiations with the Italian auto maker because Fiat refused to grant its Compact White platform to Sollers, Kommersant said.
Sollers and Ford will assemble six vehicle models at their joint venture. The Russian auto maker will start producing two models, the Explorer off-road vehicle and the Transit van, at its facilities in Tatarstan in 2012, the paper said, referring to presentation materials prepared by the joint venture.
The joint venture will also produce a B+ type sedan, which will be an absolutely new model, which has never been presented on any of the markets. This new compact car has been developed by Ford as a rival to the VW Polo and other low-end cars sold in Russia but will appear on the market only in 2014, the paper said.
The JV will also produce Ford's moernized sedan and Kuga vehicles at the Sollers plant located in Naberezhnye Chelny, while Explorer and Transit vehicles will be assembled in Yelabuga starting from 2012. The company will launch the production of Kugas and B+ sedans in 2013 and 2014 respectively. The expected 2016 annual output, including the Ford-Vsevolozhsk plant, which will also become a part of the joint venture, will total 300,000 cars.
The main goal of the Sollers-Ford joint venture is to raise Ford's market share in Russia to 9% from the current 4.7%, Kommersant said. Sollers declined to comment on the presentation.
MOSCOW, February 22 (RIA Novosti)
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