Interfax reports that Toyota plans to begin producing cars at its new factory in Russia in December 2007, the company said in its annual report.
The report quoted Toyota president Katsuaki Watanabe as saying that launching production in Russia fits in with the company’s strategy to increase production locally.

“We are going to significantly increase local production. Based on the strategy of producing cars in the regions where there is a need for them, the plans require that local production be doubled to 5 million cars. New factories have either begun construction already or are being built in North America, Thailand, China and Russia,” Watanabe is quoted as saying.

Preparatory land work has already begun on the area where the Toyota factory is to be built in the St. Petersburg suburb of Shushary and is expected to be completed by the end of 2005.

Toyota Motor president Tomoaki Nishitani told Interfax at the end of April that construction work, which is slated to begin in fall 2006, would be completed by mid-2007.

Toyota’s subsidiary in Russia, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Russia (TMMR), will have output of about 50,000 cars per year. In its first stage, the plant will annually produce 20,000 Camry models, one of Toyota’s most successful models in Russia. The plant will eventually have production capacity of 200,000 cars per year.