St. Petersburg, Russia – The 250,000th Russian-built Ford Focus has been built at the company’s plant in Vsevolozhsk, near St. Petersburg. The car, a silver 1.8-litre Ghia Wagon, will be delivered to a customer in Moscow.
The Focus has been Russia’s best-selling foreign car for the past five consecutive years.
“We were the very first foreign manufacturer to open our own production facility in Russia, and when the first locally-built Focus was built at Vsevolozhsk in 2002, the plant has an annual production capacity of 25,000 cars,” said John Fleming, president and CEO, Ford of Europe. “In order to keep pace with demand from customers in Russia, that figure has risen today to 75,000, and will rise again to 125,000 in 2009, when the Ford Mondeo will also be produced at the plant.”
The plant is currently recruiting 1,300 new employees for the extra production, raising the total number of people employed at the plant to 3,500 by the end of this year. Sales of the Focus in Russia are up by 25 per cent in the first six months of 2008, compared to the same period in 2007, with 46,335 vehicles sold. Total Ford vehicle sales in Russia to the end of June were 97,626, an increase of 20 per cent over the same period in 2007. By contrast, the company sold just 1,363 vehicles in Russia in all of 2000.