RUSSIA: Ford to increase car prices
Ford plans to raise its car prices in Russia by 5% on average starting April 1.
Prime-Tass reported that, Nigel Brackenbury, head of Ford's Russian subsidiary, said the price increase will apply to all cars and some SUVs produced after April 1.
The minimum price for Ford Focus and Ford Mondeo cars produced at the company's Russian plant in the plant near St Petersburg will amount to 345,000 rubles and 595,000 rubles, respectively, Brackenbury said.
Brackenbury also said that the company planned to reconsider the production plan for its Russia facility in 2009 amid the current market situation. Earlier, Ford said that it planned to increase the production capacity of the plant to 125,000 units in 2009 from 75,000 units currently.
Brackenbury also said that the carmaker was considering various options to avoid layoffs.
Ford has also said that it plans to start selling Mondeo cars produced in Russia from April 1.
Ford started producing Mondeo cars at its St Petersburg plant earlier this month. The plant also produces the Focus model.
In 2008, Ford sold 186,828 cars in Russia, up 6.3% on the year.
Russia's car market this year has gone into reverse as it has been hit by economic and financial crisis.
Sales of new cars in Russia are projected to fall 19% on the year to 2.4m units in 2009, Martin Jahn, vice chairman of the AEB's Automobile Manufacturers Committee and general manager of Volkswagen Group's Russian subsidiary, said in January.
Other analysts have said the market could fall by as much as 50% this year.