26 Mar 2019 14:40

Ford's exit from Russia connected to global restructuring of car industry - head of American Chamber of Commerce

MOSCOW. March 26 (Interfax) - American carmaker Ford's exit from Russia is connected to the global restructuring of the auto industry, the head of the American Chamber of Commerce, Alexis Rodzianko, said after meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday.

"For Ford, this is a global question and a question about how their European franchise looks, how they work in Western Europe, and overall, as a part of their European strategy, this isn't related specifically to Russia," Rodzianko said on Rossiya-24 television.

"And as usual, there was the story with General Motors a few years ago, they continue to be an active participant in our Chamber of Commerce, to actively sell their cars here in Russia. So I think Ford won't just leave. This is simply the global restructuring of the auto industry, which is now feeling some pressure," he said.

The newspaper Kommersant had cited Russian government and business sources as saying that Ford might completely stop producing passenger cars in Russia and importing them as early as this summer.

The joint venture Ford Sollers will announce its final restructuring plans on March 27. According to Kommersant, Ford will have a presence in Russia only in the light commercial vehicle (LCV) market, keeping its share in the plant in Yelabug where the off-road Explorer and the SUV Kuga are assembled. The sale of its other assets are being discussed at the government level. However, it is also possible that Ford will leave Russia completely; to retain any production facilities, it needs a special investment contract, which, according to Kommersant, the company does not plan to sign.