The deterioration of Russia's economy might mean good news for Ford and other American companies—at least for the time being.
Russia's currency, the ruble, has shed 40 percent of its value against the U.S. dollar in the last year as Western sanctions have slammed the Russian economy, and plunging oil prices have bitten into the country's revenues. That, in turn, is encouraging Russians to buy big-ticket items now for fear that prices will rise even more than they already have as the ruble continues its decline.
Data on Russian sales of high-ticket items are difficult to obtain, but October and November retail sales in Russia rose year over year and surpassed forecasts, even as consumer sentiment has remained negative, according to information from Russia's Federal State Statistics Service.
And anecdotal evidence indicates that everything from Apple iPhones to refrigerators and Ford automobiles are currently selling like blintzes in Russia. Two managers at a Ford Dealership in Moscow, Sergei and Artur, who asked that their last names be withheld, told CNBC that they began to see a spike in sales at the beginning of November.