Skoda has opened its second production facility in Russia at a GAZ Group plant in Nizhny Novgorod.

The Volkswagen unit plans to produce 110,000 cars annually at the new facility and will boost its combined output at its two Russian factories to 350,000 cars annually in the short term from under 100,000 at present.

It also aims to boost global output, including operations in China and India, to 1.5m cars by 2018 when it also targets selling about 60% of its total production outside Europe. Markets in western European currently account for most Skoda Auto sales at present.

Last year Skoda sold around 879,200 cars worldwide, an all-time high, up 15% from 2010. Chairman Winfried Vahland said: “In the Russian Federation we see great growth potential for Skoda and therefore we need additional production facilities."

VW partner GAZ Group's own production in Nizhny Novgorod centres on light and medium-duty vans, trucks and buses. Skoda already makes the Octavia, Fabia and Yeti at the VW plant in Kaluga, south of Moscow.