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Nissan could open an assembly plant in Russia in 2007
Japanese car giant Nissan could open an assembly plant in Russia in 2007, a Japanese business daily reported Tuesday. Nihon Keizai quoted Nissan CEO Toshiyuki Shiga as saying the company is considering the possibility as part of its long-term strategy to expand into what is known as the BRIC markets (Brazil, Russia, India and China), and has already dispatched a task force to study the project's administrative, financial and economic aspects on the ground. Nissan was prompted to look at setting up shop in Russia by the recently announced expansion into the market of its two major competitors, Toyota and Mitsubishi Motors, the paper said. Toyota Motor Corp. is expected to launch an assembly plant outside St. Petersburg at the end of 2007. According to Nihon Keizai, Nissan could build a facility of its own or opt for co-production with France's Renault to manufacture its Infiniti cars in Russia. A long-standing partner of Nissan's, Renault has been producing low-cost vehicles at a plant outside Moscow since the spring of 2005. Russia is becoming something of a magnet to automotive trans-nationals, analysts say. Ford Motor Co. has been operating here for more than three years now. In July 2002, it opened a factory in St. Petersburg's suburbs to assemble its Focus model, which has gone on to become a bestseller in the country. American-German concern DaimlerChrysler negotiated with the St. Petersburg government this past spring about building a Mercedes production plant on the city's outskirts.
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