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RUSSIA: Ford reports 2005 sales up 54% to 60,600 units

Source: just-auto.com editorial team

Sales of Ford cars in Russia increased from 39,241 in 2004 to 60,564 units in 2005, the company has said in a statement. Ford is the latest Western maker to announce strong Russian sales on the back of rapid Russian economic growth and a shift in Russian consumers’ taste away from cheaper indigenous brands to Western makes.

“Having switched to the production of the new Focus in May 2005 its immediate popularity proved once again that Russian buyers are interested in modern, quality and comfortable cars and new technical solutions,” president of Ford in Russia Henrik Nenzen said in a statement.

Ford is now the second foreign carmaker in Russia after Hyundai in terms of sales, while Ford Focus became the most popular ‘foreign’ car.

Ford’s Russian office said in December that the company would ship some 2,000 Ford Focus cars assembled in Europe to Russia in the beginning of 2006 to meet extra demand. Demand for Ford Focuses assembled in Russia had outstripped capacity at Ford's factory near St. Petersburg, Ford said.

Approximately 30,000 potential buyers in Russia are currently waiting for a Focus according to Ford.

In May 2005, Ford introduced the Focus II to Russia, which is expected to sell 36,000 this year and as much as 60,000 units in 2006.

Ford is planning to invest $30 million to increase its Russian Focus manufacturing capacity to 60,000 cars per year.

In recent years, the share of the Russian car market taken by foreign brands has grown as income levels have risen and the market has moved away from the dominant cheaper models marketed by the established ‘indigenous’ domestic producers, such as AvtoVAZ.

Consultant PricewaterhouseCoopers forecasts that the next three years will see the number of cars sold in Russia annually exceed two million, compared to 1.596 million in 2004.
 
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