Suzuki has abandoned plans to build an assembly plant on a 50-hectare plot in St Petersburg and plans to return the site to the local authorities. The automaker took out an 11-month lease on the plot in August 2008.

Shigeru Shoji, general director of Suzuki's Russian subsidiary, told Vedomosti the project was now frozen and Suzuki would find another plot if it decided again to assemble vehicles in Russia.

Suzuki had planned to be assembling up to 30,000 Grand Vitara SUVs and SX-4 vehicle kits annually by the end of this year but postponed construction last June because of  the economic crisis and a decline in car sales in both Russian and global markets.