Japanese suppliers are expanding or launching production in Russia to support their carmaking customers.

Plants are being built in automotive hubs like St Petersburg and Togliatti as the suppliers establish local production to allow them more flexibility and meet changes in specifications and demand. Until now, suppliers have largely shipped to Russia from other countries.

Tubing maker Sanoh brought a factory in Togliatti onstream in February and plans two more this year. Kinugawa Rubber plans to build a plant in Togliatti, its first in Russia, aiming to start making automotive sealing parts for Nissan by the end of fiscal 2014.

Russia's new car sales jumped 10.6% to a record 2.93m units in 2012, according to the Association of European Businesses, following double-digit growth in 2011. Nissan plans to double capacity at its St Petersburg plant to 100,000 units by 2014.

In April, Mazda started 6 production in Vladivostok.