Jul 17, 2007
NYTimes: Moscow - A troupe of majorettes marched past a lineup of new Ford Focus and Fiesta sedans here on Monday. Dignitaries toured a new automotive service center, where nary a grease-stained rag could be seen. Then, with the snip of a red ribbon, Ford Motor opened its largest dealership in Europe, beside a highway outside Moscow.
Ford’s fortunes may be less than glittering elsewhere, but in Russia — Europe’s fastest-growing car market — there is reason to celebrate. Ford sales here, in contrast to slumping performance in the US, were up 122% in the first 6 months of 2007, compared with the same period last year. In fact, the Focus was Russia’s No. 1 selling foreign sedan in 2006, easily surpassing competitors like Toyota, Nissan and Mitsubishi, according to the Association of European Businesses, a group that tracks automotive sales.