General Motors Co. (IW 500/4) will invest $1 billion in its Russian plants by 2018 to build more cars for the expanding market, a GM executive said Wednesday.
"We will invest an additional $1 billion into Russia, expand the capacity of the plant in Saint Petersburg to 230,000 cars per year and of the joint enterprise with AvtoVAZ in Togliatti to 120,000," said Jim Bovenzi, the president of GM Russia, as quoted by Interfax news agency in Russian.
The automaker's current Russian production capacities at the two locations are 98,000 and 95,000 vehicles per year, respectively, Bovenzi said.
The company also operates a factory in Russia's western exclave of Kaliningrad.
GM's total Russia investment has reached $500 million, Bovenzi said.
Russia's car market has expanded over the last decade to become one of the biggest in the world and second only to Germany in Europe. In 2011, sales grew by an annualized rate of 39% to reach 2.65 million cars, according to a report by Ernst and Young.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012