Japan’s Toyota hands St Petersburg plant over to Russian state

MOSCOW (Reuters) -Russia and Toyota said on Friday that the Japanese carmaker’s factory in St Petersburg had been handed over to state entity NAMI, with Moscow snapping up more assets from global automakers leaving Russia over the conflict in Ukraine.

“Toyota’s production site in St Petersburg has… been transferred to the state,” Russia’s Ministry of Industry and Trade said in a statement.

The company said in September it had decided to stop vehicle production in Russia due to the interruption in supplies of key materials and parts.

“Toyota confirms that it has concluded the transfer of its vehicle production plant to NAMI effective from March 31, 2023,” Toyota said in a statement. “The agreement includes the full transfer of ownership of the plant buildings and land.”

Neither party disclosed a fee for the transaction, and Toyota declined to give any further details of the deal.

The company produced the Camry and RAV4 models at the factory, which had been in operation since 2005, a company spokesperson said. Just over 80,000 vehicles were manufactured at the plant in 2021.

The Russian ministry said it was working on resuming production at the facility as soon as possible.

NAMI, Russia’s Central Automobile and Engine Research and Development Institute, has already taken plants from Renault and Nissan.

France’s Renault sold its majority stake in Russia’s Avtovaz for reportedly just one rouble, but with a six-year option to buy it back. NAMI paid one euro for Nissan’s assets.

(Reporting by Reuters; Writing by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Hugh Lawson, Mark Potter, Frances Kerry and Jan Harvey)