Stadco has been awarded a supply agreement with Ford that will see it establish the first dedicated Body-In-White (BIW) stampings and assembly facility in Russia to supply international OEMs. Speaking to just-auto, Dermot Sterne, Stadco’s Sales and Marketing Manager said, “We’re really pleased to be the first major Tier 1 into Russia in BIW and absolutely delighted to have secured this business with Ford.”

Planning work for the construction of the new facility near St Petersburg is already underway and the supply of production stampings and assemblies to Ford, for their highly successful Focus model, is expected to start in early 2009. 

The facility will initially employ up to 200 people. Stadco expects that this plant will be attractive to other OEMs and that additional business will be won before 2009.  Stadco anticipates that, at start up, the plant will generate significant annual sales.

Sterne told just-auto that Stadco was currently planning on Ford volume of around 75,000 units a year, but believed that Ford is investigating higher volume than that.

“This arrangement gives Ford three main benefits,” he said.

“Firstly, it helps their ability to raise production capacity for the high-growth Russian market on a model that is in very high demand.

“Second, it will raise local content on the vehicles made in Russia.

“And thirdly, Ford will avoid shipping costs on body panels that are currently transported to Russia from Western Europe.”

With the Russian market growing strongly, a number of OEMs are establishing manufacturing facilities in the country, mainly in the St Petersburg region, and the major international Tier 1 suppliers are now following these customers.

Sterne was also quick to point out that Stadco’s St Petersburg facility has been set-up to serve multiple OEMs, not just Ford.

“We want to be in a position to serve multiple OEMs in the St Petersburg area,” he said. “That includes others who have announced vehicle production plans for that area including Nissan, GM and Toyota.”

Commenting on the significance of the supply agreement with Ford, Andrew Morriss, Managing Director of Stadco, said: “This award from a major international OEM represents a crucial milestone for us in Russia.  It forms a key part of our business growth strategy in this fast expanding automotive market.”

By 2008, Stadco anticipates that annual vehicle production by international OEMs in Russia will increase to over 300,000 units. 

Mr Morriss added:  “We believe that our uniquely comprehensive offering of BIW stampings, assemblies, flexible manufacturing, facility design, vehicle body design and aftermarket products, coupled with the fact that we are the first Tier 1 supplier to establish a modern facility in the St Petersburg area, will see Stadco well placed for significant further expansion in Russia, as the market continues to grow.”

Dave Leggett

See also:

UK: Opportunity knocks for suppliers in Russia – exec

UK/RUSSIA: Stadco to expand in Russia

Q&A with Stadco’s Andrew Morriss