Two Russian Ford operations run in conjunction with OAO Sollers are threatening to lay off about 950 workers due to weaker consumer demand and a falling Ruble. As the factory drops a work shift in June, 700 workers near St. Petersburg will be let go. Another 250 temporary positions from a Ford-Sollers location in the Tatarstan region will also be laid off.
Bloomberg.com is reporting that sales have been falling well before the annexation of the Crimean peninsula and the deployment of troops in the Ukraine that aroused world consternation and sanctions.
“Ford Sollers remains absolutely committed to the Russian market and is confident it has the right product plan, people and assets to deliver long-term profitable growth,” Ford said in a statement. “The rapid and significant depreciation of the ruble, falling industry sales and a consumer shift away” from compact models in favor of sport-utility vehicles are several explanations for the workforce and production cuts.
Ford is not the only motor company in Russia feeling the pinch—Renault SO, which controls Russia’s Lada, has raised the prices of its vehicles three percent in both January and March. The Russian Ruble has lost 13 percent of its value in the past 12 months.