More Dealers Open In Russia As Ford Forms New Local Partnership, Expectations Of Bigger Middle Class Grow

Nine new Ford dealerships opened in Russia during 2011 — bringing the total to 103 dealers nationwide. As of this writing, Ford has dealerships in 68 Russian cities and the country was the fifth-largest European market for sales of Ford vehicles in 2011.

The Motrolix Take

Ford sold 118,038 vehicles in Russia in all of 2011, representing a 30 percent year-over-year increase in growth. Fueled by two primary developments, we expect sales of Ford vehicles in Russia to continue to grow through the end of the decade.

First is Ford’s newly-coined joint venture with Sollers. The new entity is responsible for the production, import, and distribution of all Ford-branded products — including vehicles, parts, and accessories — in the country, and will most likely result in an increased focus on sales growth via promotions, incentives, improved marketing, and enhanced financing efforts.

Second is the rise of the Russian Middle Class, the growth of which has mostly remained stagnant during the last half decade. However, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has recently said that the Russian middle class must grow, and many expect Putin to make a big push during his third-term candidacy (and perhaps beyond) to achieve the goal. Currently, a foreign-branded vehicle like Ford is considered a luxury item attainable by a very few in Russia; so as the middle class grows, so to would sales of foreign-branded vehicles such as those marketed by The Blue Oval. That’s our thinking, anyway. Do you agree?

Motrolix Founder with a passion for global automotive business strategy.

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