For the first time in the vehicle’s history of the vehicle, the Ford Explorer will be produced outside of the U.S. at Ford Sollers Elabuga Assembly Plant in the Republic of Tatarstan, solely for the Russian market. Before this, only partially assembled Explorers were built outside of the states, including the Russian plant.
As consumers worldwide have embraced the Ford Explorer, sales increased almost 65 percent since 2011, with the vehicle shipped to more than 64 countries. Russian sales of the SUV accounted for 31 percent of the market in 2012.
“Russia is on its way to being the largest market in Europe and presents an enormous opportunity for growth. We anticipate SUV sales to continue to grow as Russian customers prefer the image and performance these utility vehicles provide in severe weather and challenging road conditions,” said Ted Cannis, president and CEO of Ford Sollers in a statement.
Russia-made Ford Explorers will be manufactured with the same level of efficiency and standards as those built at the Chicago Assembly plant, thanks to the Ford Production System that has greatly improved flexibility, quality, and efficiency. Investment costs have also been reduced thanks to this system, and Ford plans to add it to more plants worldwide. Ford Sollers plans to hire 500 new employees to help with the production of the Ford Explorer.
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