Ford sells stake in Russia business, joining automaker exodus


Ford sold its 49 percent stake in the Sollers Ford joint venture, finalizing its exit from Russia after suspending operations in the country earlier this year after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Shares of the automaker will be transferred to the venture for a nominal value of €1 ($1), a Ford spokesman said Wednesday.

The company will retain the option to buy back the shares within a five-year period “should the global situation change,” it said in a statement.

Ford already had halted Russian commercial van manufacturing, supply of parts, information technology and engineering support in March. It follows Toyota, Nissan and Mercedes-Benz in making a full departure from Russia.

Ford’s business in Russia is small and has been downsized over the past three years. There were just 22,000 of its vehicles — including Ford-branded automobiles produced by an unconsolidated affiliate — sold there last year, according to regulatory filings.

“We at Ford are deeply concerned about the invasion of Ukraine by Russia and the safety of the Ukrainian people,” CEO Jim Farley wrote on Twitter in March.

Ford had said in 2019 it was closing three factories in Russia, pulling out of a car market where it was once a pioneer to focus on light commercial vehicles as part of a broader overhaul of its money-losing European operations.

That decision was made as an economic slowdown and Western sanctions dimmed the outlook for what many automakers had long seen as a key growth market.


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