Ford Sollers aims to cope with the rising local demand by adding the mid-sized Edge SUV model to its range. Ford Sollers is a joint venture between Ford Motor Co. and Russian automaker Sollers. Ford said that in early 2014, the model will begin to be produced at the Ford Sollers plant in Elabuga in Tatarstan. Created in late 2011, the venture delivers the Ford Kuga medium SUV, Ford Explorer large SUV, compact Focus and mid-sized Mondeo models.
In addition, this plant produces the Transit van and the S-Max, Galaxy and Tourneo Custom large minivans. Last May, Ford said that it will begin to produce EcoSport SUVs in Russia in 2014 at a second plant in Tatarstan in Naberezhnye Chelny.
Furthermore, Ford Sollers has a plant near St Petersburg too. Western automakers have made heavy investments in Russia’s production operations in Russia, under expectations that that there’s growth in the market as people seek to update the aging models. Unfortunately, Russia's $2 trillion economy has diminished. Very recently, the Association of European Businesses (AEB) downgraded its auto sales forecast for the full year to 2.8 million vehicles, signifying a 5% decline.
"The Ford EcoSport and Ford Edge, which have proved to be great successes around the world, will give Russian customers two new stylish, fun-to-drive options from Ford's family of SUVs," said Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman Bill Ford, who currently is visiting Ford Sollers' operations in Russia. "In addition to strengthening the Ford brand in Russia, production of these vehicles will create jobs and prosperity for the local community and help build a strong Russian auto industry for the future."
When the Ford Edge was introduced to the market in 2006, it immediately became the top selling vehicle in its segment in just its first full year of existence. This speaks volumes of the trust the Ford Edge has earned from its customers who obviously were very pleased with the car. This trust has been translated to over 330,000 units of the Ford Edge sold since 2006.
Mark Fields, Ford’s President of the Americas, revealed that the dynamic driving capability and design of the Ford Edge were the characteristics that allowed it to establish an affinity with its loyal customers. This has inspired Ford to continue to give its car the edge against competitors by finding ways to continuously improve its features.
Fields says the key to maintaining its market position is to listen to what the customers say and ask for. This sensitivity to the market demands has spurred Ford to enhance the features of the Edge in terms of fuel efficiency, levels of quietness, quality of materials, and innovative design. The Edge has also been installed with the unique MyFord Touch driver connect technology plus three new powertrains, and two new transmissions, all of which simply make the Ford Edge a cut above the rest of the field.