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Ford Motor Co. cutting 950 jobs in Russia

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Ford Motor Co. says its Russian joint venture is cutting 950 jobs due to falling sales and the declining value of the ruble.

The automaker says Ford Sollers will cut 700 jobs at its plant in St. Petersburg and an estimated 250 temporary employees in Tartarstan. The reductions affect about 19 percent of its 5,000-person workforce in Russia.

The Ford Sollers joint venture began operations in late 2011 and has grown to building nine models, including the Explorer, Focus and Mondeo. The Edge and EcoSport SUVs might be added this year, Reuters reported.

The company said Wednesday it still expects Russia to become Europe’s largest auto market in the long run. But weaker demand for compact cars and the impact of the falling ruble against other currencies have hindered its business.

Foreign automakers have made significant investments in Russia during the past few years but sales declined about 5 percent last year because of the country’s slowing economy, The Wall Street Journal reported.