In a sign of its commitment to emerging markets, Ford has doubled-down on its investment in the Ford Sollers plant in Elabuga, Tatarstan, announcing an investment of $274 million in the building of a new engine plant, as well as adding production of the Ford EcoSport B-segment SUV at Elabuga. This comes just a month after local production of the Explorer was announced for the plant.
The 458,543-sqare-foot engine plant will employ 500 workers and have an initial production capacity of 105,000 engines a year, with a potential future capacity of 200,000 engines. Three versions of Ford's naturally aspirated 1.6-liter Duratec I-4 will be made at the plant, in 84-hp, 104-hp and 123-hp versions. The engines are expected to go into as many as 30 percent of all Russian-built Ford models.
With production of the EcoSport being added in Russia, that brings the total production sites for the new compact SUV to three, with production announced for Brazil and India previously. The Elabuga plant currently builds the Transit, Kuga (Escape), S-Max, Galaxy, and Explorer. Ford Sollers also operates an assembly plant outside of St. Petersburg, which builds the Focus and Mondeo, and another plant in Naberezhnye in the Tatarstan region.