FRANKFURT, Feb 7 (Reuters) - U.S. automaker Ford will roll out six new models in Russia this year, Chief Executive Mark Fields was quoted as saying, despite the country’s sagging economy and rising tensions over the conflict in Ukraine.
Russia’s currency and economic woes were cited in January by Ford as major reasons the company lowered expectations for its European business in 2015. Other carmakers have incurred losses and closed production plants in Russia for the same reason.
“Between end-2014 and end-2015 we will bring six new models to market,” Fields was quoted as saying in German weekly magazine WirtschaftsWoche. “There are no bad times for me to introduce a great new model, even if the economic conditions are difficult.”
Fields declined to specify any company target for reducing its losses in Europe, the magazine said. “We don’t have a fixed target. We’ll cut back the losses this year and want to become profitable again as quickly as possible,” he said.
In China, Ford aims to double its production capacity by the end of the year compared to 2013, Fields said. By the end of 2015, Ford will be able to produce 1.4 million cars and 500,000 trucks annually in China, he said.
To reach that goal, the company will build two new factories and extend capacity at existing operations, he said.
“We still see very much potential for growth,” he was quoted as saying in the German-language magazine. (Reporting by Thomas Atkins; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)