RUSSIA: Toyota considering local assembly - reports

By just-auto.com editorial team | 17 December 2003

Toyota is looking at assembling cars in Russia, Russian business daily Vedomosti reported after Russian prime minister Mikhail Kasyanov met Toyota chairman Hiroshi Okuda on a visit to Japan, Reuters said.

The report said Vedomosti quoted Kasyanov as saying they had discussed the project, and a Toyota spokeswoman in Moscow was quoted as saying the matter was "under consideration."

According to Reuters, Russia's trade representative to Japan, Robert Ruzanov, was quoted as saying that Toyota was considering assembling Land Cruisers and Corollas in Russia.

Reuters said the press secretary for president Vladimir Putin's representative to the Volga federal district was quoted as saying Okuda has visited Russia's second largest car factory GAZ and a glass factory in the central Russian region of Nizhny Novgorod.

Reuters noted that Ford assembles the Focus family saloon outside St Petersburg and plans to make 12,000-15,000 cars this year while General Motors makes a rough terrain vehicle, the Niva, in a joint venture with local car manufacturer Avtovaz in a joint venture that will start assembling Astras in 2005.

Renault also plans to start manufacturing cars at a plant in Moscow, Reuters added.