Nissan to launch plant in Russia in spring 2009

ST. PETERSBURG, October 24 (RIA Novosti) - Nissan Motor, one of Japan's largest auto manufacturers, will start producing cars at a plant under construction near St. Petersburg in April-May 2009, the company's Russia director said Wednesday.

Nissan signed the deal to open the facility near Russia's second city last September. The plant will produce 50,000 cars a year, which will include two models, Teana and Nissan X-Trail, said Toru Saito, director general of Nissan Motor Rus.

The plant will require investment of $200 million and employ 750 people.

Saito said Nissan would sell 110,000 cars in Russia in 2007, compared to last year's figure of 75,500.

He said the company would initially import car parts, but could later purchase them inside Russia, which would lower the price of the product.

Nissan ranks fifth in terms of sales in Russia, behind Chevrolet, Ford, Toyota and Hyundai, according to the Automobile Manufacturers Committee of the Association of European Businesses in Russia.

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