Ford Hopes Slashed Prices, Praise from Kremlin Associates Will Revitalize Sales in Russia
Ford is having a tough time selling vehicles in Russia, and it plans to slash prices for four key products to help staunch the bleeding and spur growth for the remainder of 2018.
Wards Auto reported on Friday that Ford Sollers, Ford’s joint venture in Russia, plans to cut the price of its Focus, Mondeo, EcoSport, and Kuga in an effort to counteract a precipitous decline in sales. Where Ford’s vehicles were once among Russia’s top sellers, no single Ford product was among the top 20 best-selling vehicles in the country in the first five months of 2018.
Ford Sollers will cut $3,000 from the price of the Focus, for example, so that it better competes with lower-priced rivals like the Hyundai Solaris and Kia Rio. The automaker is also expected to focus on marketing SUVs and crossovers like the EcoSport and Kuga to increase its appeal to customers who are riding the seemingly universal wave of spurning sedans and hatchbacks for larger vehicles. Analysts have suggested that weak advertising and marketing has been one of the key contributors to Ford falling out of favor with Russian drivers.
While Ford may currently find itself struggling in Russia, there is hope. Ford recently received plaudits from a prominent Russian asset who took some time looking over products like the Ford F-150 at an event in Washington, D.C.
The Russian agent was quoted as saying that the “F-150 that I just saw that was beautiful,” a type of high praise he typically reserves for underaged beauty pageant contestants or his daughter. Should the Russian envoy convey to his superior, President of Russia Vladimir Putin, that Ford’s vehicles are of superior quality, products like the Solaris and Rio might mysteriously vanish so that the Focus can take its rightful place atop the segment.
News Source: Wards Auto