Ford has announced that it is suspending operations of its joint venture in the country of Russia, Ford Sollers, as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues. Ford’s joint venture with Russian automotive company Sollers, formed in 2011 under then-Ford-CEO Alan Mulally, has already slimmed down substantially in recent years. Early in 2019, Ford announced that it was dropping passenger vehicles from the portfolio entirely, narrowing its focus to the production and sale of myriad variants of the Ford Transit commercial van.
“As part of the global community, Ford is deeply concerned about the invasion of Ukraine and the resultant threats to peace and stability,” Ford said in a statement issued Tuesday. “The situation has compelled us to reassess our operations in Russia.”
“Given the situation, we have today informed our [joint venture] partners that we are suspending our operations in Russia, effective immediately, until further notice,” the statement continued.
Response Throughout the US Auto Industry
Ford’s crosstown rival, General Motors, responded to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in a similar fashion, by cutting off vehicle sales. Although the Detroit-based automaker no longer produces vehicles in the country, it does export numerous models for sale there, including the Cadillac XT4, XT5, XT6, and Escalade, as well as the Chevrolet Trailblazer, Traverse, and Tahoe. Or, it did, anyway; GM has announced it’s halting exports to Russia until further notice. That’s a bit of a small sacrifice, given that the automaker only sells about 3,000 vehicles per year in Russia, but it sends a message all the same.
And US automakers are weighing in on the Russia invasion issue in another way, too: with their cash. As The Detroit News reports, Ford is making a $100,000 donation to the Global Giving Ukraine Relief Fund, helping provide humanitarian aid to Ukrainians, while Chrysler’s parent company Stellantis has said it will start a fund to support refugees.