MOSCOW, February 18 (RIA Novosti) – Sollers-Bussan, a joint venture between Russian auto maker Sollers and Japan’s Mitsui & Co., has started series production of Toyota Land Cruiser Prado cars in Vladivostok in the Russian Far East, Sollers said on Monday.
Trial production of the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado began at Sollers’ Vladivostok factory on January 25. The JV intends to produce about 1,000 Toyota vehicles a month initially.
“The vehicles produced in the Far East of Russia will be supplied to...the Russian market efficiently and promptly mainly by utilizing the Siberian Railway,” the company said.
The Russian automobile market is now recovering after the global financial crisis and car sales there in 2012 were the second-highest in Europe after Germany, with market growth expected to continue, Sollers said.
Sollers-Bussan was established in August 2010 as a 50-50 joint venture to build Toyota brand automobiles with the technical assistance of Toyota Motor Corporation.
Sollers is the latest in a string of manufacturers setting up production in Russia in partnership with foreign firms, with the approval of the government.
“The Russian government positions the automotive industry as one of the important industries and has an intention to develop the domestic automobile industry through alliances with foreign companies,” Sollers said in a statement.
Sollers is a Russian car company which manufactures, sells and maintains vehicles. Sollers sold over 100,000 vehicles in 2012. Mitsui & Co. is one of Japan's largest industrial corporations.