Automobile industry: Ford set to shut down two assembly plants in Russia

Ford Motor Co’s Russian joint venture Ford Sollers is set to shut down two assembly plants and an engine factory in Russia, exiting the country’s passenger vehicle market.

The move is part of a restructuring that will see Russia’s Sollers assume control of the venture, which is currently led by the U.S. automaker.

Ford was considering closing Russian plants as it was reviewing operations in unprofitable regions.

The U.S. car maker said the closures would lead to “significant” job losses, without giving details.

A restructured Ford Sollers will focus on commercial vehicles, while passenger vehicle production will cease by the end of June.

Ford was the first international carmaker to launch vehicle assembly in Russia, opening a plant in St Petersburg in 2002.

In 2011, it set up a joint venture with Sollers in which Ford and Sollers each hold a 50 percent stake, but Ford has controlled the business since buying up preferred shares.

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