Ford Sales in Russia Jump in June despite Factories Shutdown

Despite closing two car plants in Russia earlier this year, sales of U.S. carmaker Ford in the country jumped 43 percent in June, Automotive News reports.

Ford ceased passenger vehicle production in Russia at the end of June when the automaker closed plants at Naberezhnye Chelny, which built Focus and Mondeo cars, and St. Petersburg, which produced the Fiesta small car and Ecosport crossover.

But the carmaker’s passenger vehicle sales increased to 6,146 units compared with 4,305 in June 2018. Overall in the first six months of the year, however, Ford’s sales in Russia fell 18 percent to 21,027.

The June sales boost was likely caused by customers buying Ford cars ahead of the automaker’s exit from the country’s passenger car market, a Ford spokesman said. The closures were part of a broader restructuring of Ford’s European business to restore profits.

Most other automakers in Russia had a bad month in June as total new-car sales fell 3.3 percent to 151,180, according to data from industry group Association of European Businesses (AEB).

Market leader Lada’s sales fell 2 percent, while No. 2, Kia, declined 3 percent. Third-placed Hyundai dropped 1 percent, while No. 4 Renault was down 12 percent. Volkswagen brand, in fifth place, was the only top 5 winner, with sales up 6 percent.

German premium brands had a good month with BMW sales up 15 percent, Audi’s volume up 7 percent and Mercedes-Benz up 5 percent.

Among the losers, Nissan fell 26 percent, Mitsubishi dropped 24 percent and Skoda slipped 1 percent. In the first half of the year, Russia sales fell 2.4 percent to 828,750.