Foreign Carmakers Still Eye Russia

Just as President Vladimir V. Putin has been trying to dispel doubts about Russia's investment climate, Toyota Motor Europe has provided a boost. On Apr. 26 the company signed a letter of intent to build a $150 million plant to manufacture Toyota Camry cars near St. Petersburg. The plan is to produce 50,000 autos annually within three years, with possible expansion to 200,000. The move comes as Russia prepares to slash tariffs on imported components, which carmakers have long requested. Toyota (TM ) joins Ford (F ), General Motors (GM ), and Renault, which have plants in Russia. Volkswagen and DaimlerChrysler (DCX ) are also mulling investments.

Edited by Rose Brady

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