Japan's Mazda eyes car plant in Russia with Sollers
Japanese carmaker Mazda said Saturday it had agreed with Russian auto giant Sollers to consider forming a joint venture to produce cars in the Russian Far East city of Vladivostok.
The proposed plant will supply "several Mazda nameplates" for consumers in Russia -- Mazda's second largest market in Europe -- as part of its medium-term expansion plans in emerging markets, the company said in a statement.
Mazda's sales in Russia in the first nine months this year jumped 77 percent year on year to about 28,000 units, the statement said.
Sollers is said to be one of Russia's leading automotive companies engaged in the production, distribution and servicing of vehicles.
Toyota is also due to produce sports utility vehicles in Vladivostok in a joint venture with Sollers.
Japan's all five major Japanese automakers already have factories in Russia or are planning to build them. Toyota, Nissan and Mitsubishi have production bases there with Honda and Mazda following them.
The Russian auto market is now showing signs of recovery after enduring a torrid slump during the global economic crisis, with sales in 2009 plunging 49 percent to 1.5 million units.
Sales recovered to some 3.3 million units last year.
© 2011 AFP