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Ford Sollers to hire 700 staff to meet car demand in Russia

BERLIN, Sept 14 (Reuters) - Ford's Russian joint venture plans to hire more than 700 workers at its plant in Elabuga in Tatarstan to meet growing auto demand, especially for sport-utility vehicles (SUVs) and light commercial vans, the carmaker said on Thursday.

It will add a second shift to the factory for the first time in four years, with hirings due to start next month, to assemble Ford Kuga, Explorer and Transit models.

"Development of SUV and light commercial vehicle line-ups is the core of our strategy now," Ford Sollers Chief Executive Adil Shirinov said. "We are committed to growing our market share in 2018 as well."

Auto sales in Russia jumped 17 percent in August compared with year-earlier levels, the Association of European Businesses lobby said last week. (Reporting by Andreas Cremer; editing by Susan Thomas)