9 Jun 2010 11:50

Nissan may increase Russian-plant investments this yr, improves production forecast

ST. PETERSBURG. June 9 (Interfax) - LLC Nissan Manufacturing Rus, the Nissan Motor Company's automotive plant in St. Petersburg, may add on a third workshift, having increased its 2010 production forecast from 25,000 to 30,000 vehicles, and up its investments for the year, the company's General Director Dmitry Mikhailov told reporters.

"The company has decided to orient towards the business segment, and produce automobiles in Russia that are not produced in Europe. We are prepared to begin working three shifts. We are ready to produce more. We expect production to increase," Mikhailov said about the company's 2010 production plans. And Nissan is looking at increasing its investments in its St. Petersburg facility.

The plant is capable of turning out 140 automobiles daily when its 1,500 workers are working a two-shift schedule. Official Nissan representative Tatiana Natarova told Interfax recently that the second shift would let the plant turn out up to 35,000 vehicles per year.

Nissan Manufacturing Rus is equipped to produce up to five models, its press chief Tatiana Moiseichenko told Interfax.

Nissan automobile sales in Russia could rise to 70,000 vehicles per year, and the number of dealers could increase from 84 to 120, General Director of Nissan Motor Rus Francois Goupil de Bouille told the press not long ago.

The Nissan plant opened for business on June 2, 2009. It turned out 4,000 Teana and X-Trail model cars from June to December last year. The factory has been producing the all-wheel-drive Teana Four (with a 4-cylinder, 2.5-liter engine) since this past March.

Plans for 2011 call for launching production of the Murano. And when the plant is running at full capacity it will be able to turn out 50,000 automobiles annually. Investment in the project has reached $200 million.