Ford has said it has nearly ended its dispute with Russian customs authorities over duties related to Ford Focus production in the country.

A Russian newspaper reported yesterday (21 June) that production of the car was halted for two weeks following a conflict about whether the carmaker used the required 40% of locally produced components.

But Ford Motor Company has told just-auto: "Production at Ford's St. Petersburg plant was disrupted following a difference of interpretations of customs regulations regarding local content. However, we are building cars, shipping them to dealers and believe we are close to resolving this with a minimum of disruption to our customers."

The Vedomosti newspaper reported that Ford was forced to stop its assembly line 1500 cars short of target at the Vsevolozhsk plant, in St. Petersburg. Russian authorities reportedly demanded that Ford should produce more components locally or stump up an extra 140,000 rubles (US$5,150) per car in duties.