MOSCOW (AP) -- Ford is closing three factories in Russia as it pulls out of passenger vehicle manufacturing in the country, causing heavy job losses.
Ford says it will stop making passenger cars in Russia by the end of June, closing vehicle assembly plants in St. Petersburg and Naberezhnye Chelny, as well as an engine plant in Yelabuga.
Ford says "significant employee separations are required."
The U.S. carmaker blames a slow recovery in the Russian car market after an economic slowdown in recent years, and moves toward cheaper cars.
Ford will now focus solely on commercial Transit vans in Russia through its Ford Sollers joint venture.
Ford has repeatedly paused or scaled back production at the St. Petersburg plant in recent years, citing low customer demand.