Company to close two car plants, but will continue selling commercial vehicles and making the Transit in Russia.

As part of the company's global restructuring, Ford is exiting the Russian passenger car market, and closing many of its facilities there.

Ford says the Russian passenger car market is recovering "slower than expected" with new car buyers preferring "lower priced passenger vehicle segments", which has led to its Russian factories being underutilised.

Local passenger car production will finish up by the end of June 2019, although the automaker will continue to sell commercial vehicles in the country.

The automaker will close three factories in the country: the Naberezhnye Chelny facility, which produces the Fiesta and EcoSport, St Petersburg (Focus and Mondeo), and its engine plant in Elabuga.

While the production of Kuga and Explorer will end at the company's Elabuga factory, the Transit looks set to carry on. Ford claims the Transit is Russia's best selling non-domestic commercial vehicle with a market share of around 15 per cent.

Ford first began manufacturing vehicles in Russia in 2002, and entered into a joint venture with Sollers in 2011.

The scaling back of Ford's presence in Russia is expected to cost up to US$500 million ($710 million), with around US$200 million ($284 million) to be paid out to retrenched staff and suppliers.

Today's announcement follows the axing of 5000 jobs in Europe earlier this month, and the closure of a factory in Brazil in February.