Toyota to Add RAV4 Crossover Production in Russia in 2016

Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s largest automaker, plans to make a second vehicle at its plant near Saint Petersburg to double production capacity at the Russian site by 2016.

Toyota will invest 5.9 billion rubles ($180 million) to add a manufacturing line for the current version of the RAV4 crossover, the European division of the Toyota City, Japan-based carmaker said today in a statement. Expansion will include hiring 800 people, and the plant will be able to make 100,000 vehicles a year.

“Since the RAV4 was launched in the Russian market in 2002, it has been extremely well received by Russian consumers,” Didier Leroy, president of Toyota Motor Europe, said in the statement. Through the investment, “we further commit to continuing our contributions to the development of the Russian automobile industry.”

The Japanese manufacturer has made the Camry sedan at its Russian plant since 2007. The investment in the RAV4 will bring Toyota’s total spending at the site since entering Russia to 16 billion rubles, the manufacturer said. Toyota’s market share in the country, including the luxury Lexus brand, increased to 6.2 percent in the eight months through August from 6 percent a year earlier, according to figures from the Moscow-based Association of European Businesses in Russia.

Toyota also has a partnership with the Sollers-Bussan joint venture of Russian automotive producer OAO Sollers and Tokyo-based Mitsui & Co. that started assembling the Land Cruiser Prado sport-utility vehicle in Vladivostok this year. Initial production capacity of that model is 1,000 vehicles a month.

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