Sollers, the second largest vehicle manufacturer in Russia, reported a net loss attributable to shareholders of 1.8 billion rubles ($65.4 million) for the year 2010, a drop from the 5.3 billion rubles in 2009, the company disclosed in a statement. On the other hand, the company’s sales increased 59 percent on the same year to 55.3 billion rubles.
The company is Ford Motor Co.'s partner in Russia. Sollers and Ford are planning a 50-50 joint venture to create Ford Sollers, which is scheduled to begin operating by the end of 2011.
The joint venture plans to establish local production facilities in Tatarstan and in Vsevolozhsk in the St. Petersburg region where the lineup of Ford passenger vehicles and light commercial cars are manufactured. The Vsevolozhsk plant of Ford currently manufactures the Mondeo and Focus models.
Chief Executive Officer Stephen Odell at Ford of Europe stated last February that the planned venture would aid in building the Ford brand in Russia as well as produce a profitably growing business.
He said that the venture would help strengthen the automotive industry in Russia as well as its local supply base. Moreover, the partner companies disclosed that their joint venture would produce manufacture engines and operate a stamping plant that will give a higher level of local components content for Ford cars created in the country.
The partners will also engage in research and development endeavors. Previously, Italy-based automaker Fiat had planned to engage in a 2.4 billion euro joint venture with Sollers. However, such endeavor failed to materialize.