Toyota Sent To Siberia?

toyota sent to siberia

While Mazda is still talking with Russian politicos about producing cars in Siberia, Toyota is doing it. Toyota “is moving into the Russian Far East ahead of other Japanese automakers as part of a high-priority effort to tap emerging markets,” at least as far as The Nikkei [sub] is concerned.

The Russian Far East and Siberia used to be a hotbed for well maintained barely used Japanese cars, sold before the feared Japanese shaken car inspection and traded in for new. Some 80 percent of the cars in these frosty regions, just across the water from Japan, used to be Japanese RHD models. Last year, Russia enacted punitive tariffs on imported cars, especially on imported used cars. “Moscow wants to force foreign auto makers to open their own plants in Russia,” said Automobilwoche [sub]. And apparently, Moscow’s wishes are being fulfilled. In a somewhat roundabout, but very Japanese way.

According to another story in The Nikkei [sub], Japanese keiretsu giant Mitsui will start a joint venture with the Russian automaker Sollers. Toyota would supply “parts” (most likely CKD kits) and equipment, and train the personnel. Then, the cars would be loaded on the Trans Siberian Railroad and sold all over Russia. Which car is unknown, the Nikkei is going out on a limb and guesses it could be a sedan or an SUV.

Mitsui and Toyota go a long ways back. At some time in the dark ages, Toyota was part of the Mitsui conglomerate.

It could also be that the Nikkei jumped the gun and that it’s only talk, just like Mazda. When asked about the plans, Toyota spokesman Dion Corbett told TTAC that “no decision has been made.”

After a near death experience, the Russian car market is humming again . Bloomberg reports that Russian new car sales rose 72 percent in January to 127,654 units.

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  • Obbop Obbop on Feb 10, 2011

    Isn't there a BIG unused building at Chernobyl ready to renovate and be put to use. Likely in better shape than large parts of Detroit and surely with a kinder, gentler more civilize populace but that's just an Old Coot Opinion.

  • Cmoibenlepro Cmoibenlepro on Feb 10, 2011

    "Some 80 percent of the cars in these frosty regions, just across the water from Japan, used to be Japanese RHD models." I guess that a significant number of RHD cars could create big traffic and security issues.

  • DungBeetle62 "Mark III would make its branding as exclusive as possible... " Meanwhile, 40 years on down the road every single Lincoln product was "MK _____"
  • FreedMike It is kind of refreshing to see an off-roader that is focused on the basics of off-roading, versus convincing its’ owner that he’s the real-life incarnation of the Punisher, and the owner of the largest penis in human history.
  • FreedMike I’m for pretty much anything that goes fast. The more, the merrier.
  • ToolGuy 16.9 gallon fuel tank (~15 usable in the real world) combined with abysmal fuel economy means the range of your girlfriend's EV will look pretty good by comparison. 😉
  • ToolGuy Cadillac should make a list of everyone who gets excited by this announcement, and never listen to those people again.