February 1, 2015 / 4:57 PM / in 5 years

Ford CFO says sees ongoing problems in Russia: Handelsblatt

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The finance chief of Ford Motor Co (F.N) expects ongoing problems in Russia where the decline of the rouble and the struggling economy was weighing on its market share, according to German newspaper Handelsblatt.

A 2015 Ford Mustang is on display during the Moscow International Automobile Salon in Krasnogorsk outside Moscow, August 27, 2014. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

Russia’s currency and economic woes were cited last week 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.

“2015 does not look good,” Ford’s Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks was quoted as saying about Russia in an interview to be published on Monday.

Shanks told the financial daily that Ford has lost market share in Russia as “a number of competitors have aggressively cut their prices.”

Japanese car makers were able to cut prices on the back of the weak yen and Korean car makers had followed, he said.

Shanks said that Ford was looking at measures to cope with the Russian crisis. “All options are on the table,” he was quoted as saying.

A market exit was not an option, Shank said.

Ford spokespeople in Europe could not immediately be reached for comment outside office hours.

Ford had previously estimated losses from Europe at about $250 million in 2015. On Thursday, however, it backed away from that forecast, saying the loss would narrow from $1 billion in 2014 but would be wider than previously thought.

General Motors Co (GM.N) said last week it will suspend production at its St. Petersburg auto assembly plant in Russia from mid-March to mid-May and is raising prices for its products because of the weak and volatile Russian rouble.

In addition, Volkswagen AG’s (VOWG_p.DE) labor chief said on Thursday the company lost hundreds of millions of euros in Russia because of the decline of the rouble.

Reporting by Harro ten Wolde; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

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