ELABUGA, Russia – Ford Sollers has started full-cycle production of the Ford Transit on a new $100 million production line in its modernized assembly plant in Elabuga, Republic of Tatarstan, Russia.
For Transit full-cycle production – which includes full welding, painting and assembly of the vehicles – Ford Sollers installed some of the most technologically-advanced production equipment on any commercial vehicle production line in Russia, such as a high-tech welding system and new robotic equipment for the paint line. More than 30 of the major components used to build the Transit in Russia will be sourced from local suppliers.
“We remain committed to continuing to expand the range of Ford models we build and sell in Russia, including commercial vehicles,” said Ted Cannis, president and CEO, Ford Sollers. “The all-new Transit and the modernization of the Ford Sollers Elabuga Assembly Plant with its $100 million refurbishment and enhanced vehicle build capabilities are an important part of that strategy.”
Ford Sollers will build Transit models with a variety of payload capabilities, and in three length variations and two different roof heights. All will be powered by the 2.2-litre Duratorq diesel engine in a choice of three power ratings.
In addition to the Transit standard models, Ford Sollers also is introducing a range of special versions of the Transit specifically for Russia. These include shuttle buses; school buses with a range of seating capacities and enhanced safety equipment; and ambulances with all the necessary equipment to meet Russian regulations.
“By bringing special vehicles to the market that are based on the tried and tested all-new Ford Transit, we will open new business opportunities. These Transit special models not only enable us to provide our customers with unique solutions that meet their specific needs, but also extends the number of local suppliers we and our qualified Russian bodybuilder partners will work with in building these vehicles,” said Adil Shirinov, executive director and chief operating officer, Ford Sollers.
Later this year, Ford Sollers will open a new engine plant in Elabuga. In addition, in 2015 Ford Sollers will launch four more new vehicles into the Russian market, including the all-new Ford Mondeo launched earlier in April, plus the new Focus and the new Fiesta.