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FIRST RUSSIAN FORD DEALERSHIP OPENS IN ST. PETERSBURG

 FIRST RUSSIAN FORD DEALERSHIP OPENS IN ST. PETERSBURG
 DEARBORN, Mich., Feb. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The first Ford dealership


in Russia with full sales, parts and service operations from a brand-new modern facility has been opened in St. Petersburg.
 The dealership, TDV-Auto, is a three-way joint venture between Transco NV, car dealers in Belgium for more than 17 years; DTI Holdings, a company experienced in trading within the former USSR; and LRC Auto- VAZ, operators of Lada service centers in St. Petersburg.
 Representatives of these three companies plus Ford sales management, Russian motor traders and 200 local people attended the opening ceremony on Jan. 17, together with members of the clergy, who blessed the building.
 The new premises have been built adjacent to the existing Auto-Vaz facilities in Rjevka, an important suburb of St. Petersburg with a population of 250,000 situated 20 minutes from the city center. Electronic diagnostic equipment and Ford special tools were brought in from the West, but Eastern suppliers have provided other tools including the hydraulic inspection ramp.
 Oleg Shumsky, dealer principal of the new operation is keen to instill Western standards of customer care and product knowledge into his sales and service staff and is confident of selling 1,000 new Ford cars in the first two years.
 TDV-Auto will be one of six franchised Ford dealers in the Commonwealth of Independent States by the end of this year, when dealerships in Minsk, Moscow and Kiev become operational together with the existing dealers in Yekateringburg and Dnjepropetrovsk. Outside the Commonwealth, new Ford dealerships in Riga and Vilnius will shortly join the existing dealer in Tallinn, bringing to nine the total number of Ford dealers in the former USSR.
 Although the full range of Ford cars is sold, the most popular models continue to be the Fiesta, Escort and Scorpio. Europe's top- selling medium commercial van, the Ford Transit, is also proving a winner in the East. Direct sales of cars and commercial vehicles by Ford in the former Soviet Union in 1991 totalled 650 units.
 -0- 2/25/92
 /CONTACT: Linda Cummins of Ford, 313-845-0627/
 (F) CO: Ford Motor Company ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU:


SB -- DE009 -- 2223 02/25/92 09:37 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 25, 1992
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