By Arjen Bongard, Automotive News Europe
Toyota, expecting further strong sales growth in Russia, said it will start building Camrys in a new factory in St Petersburg by December 2007.
The Japanese carmaker said the new plant will have an initial capacity of 50,000 units a year. It will start building about 20,000 Camrys a year.
Takis Athanasopoulos, Brussels-based executive vice-president of Toyota Motor Europe, said the Camry, the company's best-seller in the US, was a logical choice for Russia.
"The Russian market is in many ways similar to the US when it comes to taste, size and performance of vehicles," he said.
Other western and Asian automakers including Daimler-Chrysler, the Volkswagen group and Nissan are looking at opening assembly plants in Russia, as new-car sales soar because of households' rising income.