Russia to Start Production at Former Toyota Plant

Russia will start making Aurus luxury cars, which are used by President Vladimir Putin, at a former Toyota factory in St. Petersburg this year, according to Denis Manturov, the country’s acting deputy prime minister.

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The official Russian presidential vehicle is the Aurus Senat, which is modeled after a ZIL limousine from the Soviet era. On Tuesday, Putin arrived at his Kremlin inauguration ceremony in an Aurus limousine. Putin also gifted one of the vehicles to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un earlier in February.

Russia Putin Limo

Manturov was cited by Russia’s state TASS news agency as saying that production at the St. Petersburg plant should start by the end of 2024 and that the former Toyota factory had been handed over to Aurus in 2023. Toyota transferred the factory to state company NAMI, which has a majority stake in the Aurus brand.

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Aurus Motors began making its cars in Russia’s Tatarstan region, around 1,000 kilometers from Moscow, in 2021. Russia is looking for ways to use car factories left idle after some global automakers withdrew from the Russian market following Putin’s decision to send tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine in February 2022. According to Russian analytical agency Autostat, 40 Aurus-branded cars have been sold in Russia so far this year.

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