Ford's Russia partner Sollers narrows 2010 loss as sales rise
MOSCOW -- Sollers, Ford Motor Co.'s Russian partner, said its loss last year narrowed as sales advanced along with the domestic economy.
Net loss attributable to shareholders shrank to 1.8 billion rubles ($65.4 million) from 5.3 billion rubles in 2009, Sollers said in a statement Thursday.
Sales climbed 59 percent to 55.3 billion rubles in 2010.
Ford Sollers, the planned 50-50 venture between Ford and Sollers, Russia's second-largest automaker, plans to set up local production facilities in Vsevolozhsk in the St. Petersburg region and in Tatarstan to build a range of Ford passenger cars and light commercial vehicles.
Ford's Vsevolozhsk plant currently builds the Focus and Mondeo models.
Ford of Europe CEO Stephen Odell, talking after the announcement of the partnership in February, said that the proposed joint venture would help build the Ford brand in Russia and create a profitably growing business.
"It also will help to strengthen the Russian automotive industry and its local supply base," he added.
Ford and Sollers said their joint venture will also produce engines and operate a stamping facility that will provide a higher level of local parts content for Ford vehicles built in Russia. It will also establish research and development activities.
The Italian carmaker Fiat S.p.A. had originally planned to create a 2.4 billion euro joint venture with Sollers, but the deal collapsed.
The joint venture is scheduled to start operations by the end of this year.