Category: New cars

More Important To Do First

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More Important To Do First
More Important To Do First

Despite all the difficulties experienced by the European economy, the results of 2004 look more favorable than the previous ones: losses decreased, sales increased noticeably - up to $ 5.6 billion in the third quarter of 2004 compared to 4.6 billion in the same quarter of 2003. The increase in production was promoted by high demand in the countries of Eastern Europe and Turkey. I am pleased to note the excellent results achieved by our team in Russia, where the sales volume doubled during the year. It would be desirable for managers in other countries to set equally high goals. It is clear that 2005 will be no less difficult for the European economy, for the consumer market, therefore we are especially looking forward to Ford in Russia. Its further development, in my opinion, depends on the sensitivity of your customers to new technologies that come with more and more modern cars.

We are preparing to master the new Ford Focus family in Vsevolozhsk, and therefore we will closely monitor the quality of the machines being assembled. Today it meets Ford standards and should be as high in the new model.

Another problem is the expansion of production in Russia. The plant operates in three shifts: I will not hide, we intend to squeeze all of the available capacities. The possibility of increasing them is being studied, but a decision has not yet been made, and therefore it is too early to talk about increasing production. Do not get me wrong: we prefer to do something first, and only then to talk about it, rather than cause expectations - and not justify them.

The prospects of the plant in Vsevolozhsk are inseparable from the localization of production - the development of components by local enterprises. Not so long ago, the Russian government raised the issue of changing duties on components. I think that their sharp decline may not have the best effect on strengthening the network of Russian suppliers: due to the availability of imported components, they will lose incentives for development. We intend to deepen localization in order to increase the share of Russian components up to 50% of the cost of the car. There are two main conditions for partnership - product quality and competitive price. Well, the nomenclature depends on the capabilities of Russian plants. I emphasize once again: the proposed reduction in duties on components will complicate localization, but will not force us to refuse to cooperate with local suppliers.

By the way, this is in line with Ford’s course on business restructuring, which also involves the transfer of component production to countries with better prices. We managed to convince a number of suppliers to “leave” for Turkey, China and, of course, are very interested in Russian partners. Possible cooperation options: deliveries from your plants to Europe; joint production with Western companies, as well as the appearance of their factories in Russia.

Here the question was raised how independent these or those firms are under the wing of Ford. To reduce costs, conduct business more efficiently, it is necessary to maximize the strengths of each company, and avoid duplication of effort. For example, Ford engineers developed a unified platform on which such dissimilar models as the Ford Focus, Mazda 3, Mazda 5, Volvo S 40, and V50 are built. In turn, Mazda created engines manufactured not only in Japan, but also in Europe and the United States. Moreover, cars of each brand have an individual appearance, their own character.

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