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24 Apr, 2009 19:17

Ford Russia chief puts price focus on locally made vehicles

The head of Ford Russia has defended the company's decision to raise prices by as much as a quarter from next month.

The smallest rise is 9% on the locally-made Mondeo and Focus. The news comes despite falling incomes across the country and many rivals cutting prices.

In an interview with RT, Nigel Brackenbury began by revealing March's 50% slump in sales has continued into April.

“So far it looks as if the market reduction in April is going to be similar to what we saw in March, which is about a 50% fall year-on-year.”

RT: Are you still in talks with your Russian plant to move to a 4-day working week?

"We're in the process of dialogue with our union partners in St. Petersburg at the moment. Clearly it's evident as I said at the beginning that the market is continuing to decline and that necessitates either additional down days, stoppages, short-time working. However you construe it, it means building less cars."

RT: Will there be more price rises from May 1?

"We're able to offer the most competitive prices on our locally produced vehicles, so the increase on those models is 9%. On our imported models, which have both the devaluation and the duty increase, and strategically are not where our focus is this year, we have taken a greater increase. 18% on most of our imported vehicles, and with selected SUVs, notably the Explorer, we've taken a 25% increase. "