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City news, 07.04.2006 11:59

Nissan may build plant in St.Petersburg

nissan Nissan Motor Co. said Wednesday it was considering building an assembly plant in Russia, where it would assemble compact cars from imported components.

If the plan is realized, Nissan will be the second Japanese automaker to produce cars in Russia, following Toyota Motor Co., which has already started building a plant.

Nissan has not yet decided on the details of its planned facility, but it is expected to start construction work as early as late this year, once it has chosen a site.

Reports from Moscow quoted Russia's Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref as saying Nissan has three candidate sites for a production plant, including St. Petersburg, the country's second-largest city, which boasts good harbor facilities and distribution systems.

Nissan has been increasingly looking to emerging markets. It established a sales company in Russia in 2004 and sold about 47,000 vehicles there last year.

Toyota Motor Corp. plans to start assembling cars at a St. Petersburg plant in December 2007.

To support Toyota's plant, Japanese auto component and material suppliers are also expected to set up production sites in Russia. Nissan is believed to have taken this expected migration of suppliers into consideration when determining where to site its assembly plant in Russia.

General Motors Corp. of the United States and Hyundai Motor Co. of South Korea already have production facilities in Russia.

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