The best-seller Toyota RAV4 became the second model to be produced at the Saint Petersburg plant together with the Toyota Camry, which has been made here since 2007. The Russian-made Toyota RAV4 will be produced for Russian, Kazakh and Belarus markets.
The decision to start Toyota RAV4 production at the Toyota plant in Saint Petersburg was made in 2013 following the strong sales of this vehicle in Russia. As a pioneer creating a brand new segment when first launched in 1994, the Toyota RAV4 has established a solid reputation with Russian customers since its launch in Russia in 2002. For several years, it has been not only the market leader in the C-SUV segment, but the vehicle has become one of Toyota’s best-seller across all segments in Russia.
Commenting on the start of production, Executive Manufacturing Director of Toyota Motor. Yoshinori Matsunaga said: “This project demonstrates the confidence in the work of our employees and the recognition of their efforts. Our employees’ work is based on the fundamental principles and philosophy of Toyota at each production stage. Thorough preparation for the second model launch was carried out over the past three years, and today we are pleased to announce the beginning of a new phase in the life of our plant, as well as to offer a Toyota RAV4 of very high quality to our customers.”
The high quality of Toyota’s St Petersburg Camry is already well-known: in 2016 the car has ranked as the number one vehicle in D segment with the best residual value in Russia according to Autostat analytic agency. Over years Toyota Camry was repeatedly recognised as the best model in business class by annual national award ‘Car of the year in Russia’. The same quality mindset went into the preparation for the RAV4 launch, and about 450 training trips to Japan were organised for the plant employees.
At the end of 2015 in preparation for the start of production of the Toyota RAV4, the TMR-SP production capacity was successfully doubled from 50,000 to 100,000 vehicles a year. Investment towards this production capacity increase and the new model launch reached 9,7 billion RUR.
Thanks to this second model, recruitment of new employees is ongoing at TMR-SP. With gradual production volume increase in the next few months, around 800 new jobs will be created.
President of Toyota Motor, Hidenori Ozaki commented: “RAV4 launch at Toyota’s plant in Saint Petersburg is a key to Toyota’s sustainable development in Russia, as well as our contribution to the regional and Russian economy. The successful implementation of our company plans to start second model production confirms our commitment to promote the development of the automotive business in Russia and to offer products which are fully in line with the needs of Russian customers. We are confident in the future success of our Toyota RAV4 in Russia.”