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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Toyota Set to Build St. Pete Plant

bloombergThe Toyota plant is expected to assemble Camry and Corolla models.
Toyota on Tuesday is set to announce the construction of an assembly plant in the St. Petersburg area, making it the first Japanese automaker to build a factory in Russia.

Tokuichi Uranishi, senior managing director with Toyota, is scheduled to make the announcement together with Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref and St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko.

Toyota signed a memorandum of understanding last week with the ministry and the city, an official in the St. Petersburg administration said. He also confirmed media reports that the initial production capacity for the plant would start at 25,000 cars per year, eventually reaching an annual output of 100,000 vehicles. The official said the St. Petersburg plant would assemble Camry and Corolla models.

Earlier this month, Svetlana Ganeyeva, head of investment policy of the Economic Development and Trade Ministry said Toyota was about to sign a memorandum with the ministry to build a plant in Shushary near St. Petersburg, RIA-Novosti reported.

During his trip last week to Japan, Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko held talks with Toyota and Nissan. Foreign carmakers have shown interest in building plants in Russia after the government slashed tariffs on major car components.

Toyota is the first of several carmakers expected to enter the domestic market. Automotive giants DaimlerChrysler and Volkswagen are also in talks to start assembling cars in Russia.

In 2003, Toyota was Russia's most popular foreign brand, selling 25,000 vehicles. Despite sales of 43,900 last year, the automaker slipped to No. 2, yielding the top spot to Hyundai.