Camry production begins in Russia

TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (TMC) announced that it held a line-off ceremony today for its best-selling Camry at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Russia (TMMR) in the Shushary District of St. Petersburg, Russia.

Russian Federation Economic Development and Trade Minister Elvira Nabiullina attended the ceremony, as did St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matvienko, with former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori and Japanese Ambassador to Russia Yasuo Saito representing the Japanese government. Those attending from Toyota included President Katsuaki Watanabe, Senior Adviser and Member of the Board Hiroshi Okuda and TMMR President Masaaki Mizukawa.

After the line-off ceremony, the guest of honor, Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin, was given a tour of the Camry plant accompanied by Watanabe.

At the ceremony, Watanabe said, "The reason we have been able to successfully commence production is that a team made up of Russians and Japanese had the enthusiasm to clear numerous obstacles and overcome adversity.He also said that, "By steadily building our production and sales in Russia, a market that has great potential, we hope to contribute to the development of the country's automobile industry, and to the parts industry that supports it, thereby helping to bolster the Russian economy and create employment opportunities."

TMC established TMMR in May 2005 as its first vehicle production plant in Russia, with a view to start production at the end of 2007. Although the plant's initial annual production capacity is 50,000 vehicles (with first-full-year production set at 20,000 units), its 224 hectares allow room for expansion. Total investment in the plant amounts to 5 billion rubles (200 million US dollars).

To commemorate the line-off ceremony, TMMR plans to donate three units of the Camry to the city of St. Petersburg.