Ford is forming a 50-50 joint venture with Sollers OJSC of Russia to expand its operations in the country. The companies, as Ford Sollers, have applied for $1.4 billion in long-term financing from the Russian development bank Vnesheconombank. Operations will begin later this year, and the Ford Transit medium commercial vehicle will be among the first of a range of products to be built under the JV. Ford Sollers operations will include Ford's existing manufacturing plant near St. Petersburg where the Focus and Mondeo are built. The operations also will include two Sollers production facilities in the Republic of Tatarstan. Ford imports, engine production, stamping operations, and research and development are additional activities planned for the JV. Sollers is Russia's second-largest producer of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles.