Cars come to Russia

Nissan is to build a new $200m vehicle assembly plant in St. Petersburg, which is due to open in early 2009.

Once completed and running at full capacity, the plant will produce around 50,000 vehicles a year and employ up to 750 people.

The 167.5 hectare plant, situated 25 kilometres from St Petersburg’s city centre, will consist of assembly, paint, trim and chassis lines

Two models to be built at the plant will be theTeana followed by the X-TRAIL.

Nissan’s decision to open a new manufacturing plant in Russia was due to its strong sales growth over recent years in the country, where Nissan has seen an increase from less than 10,000 vehicles in 2003 to more than 75,000 in 2006.

This year, Russia is expected to overtake the UK as the top volume market for Nissan in Europe for the first time.

To support this growth, Nissan also plans to triple its dealer network  in Russia to around 100.