Putin’s limo maker takes over nationalized Toyota plant

The Russian company that made President Vladimir Putin’s limousine has taken over Japanese automaker Toyota’s plant in St Petersburg, according to Russia’s Trade and Industry Ministry announcement Friday.

Toyota’s former production facilities have been transferred to the Central Scientific Research Automobile and Automotive Engine Institute (NAMI), a subsidiary of the ministry.

NAMI was responsible for produce the luxury sedan and limousine Aurus used by Putin during his inauguration in 2018, in partnership with the Russian car manufacturer Sollers.

“The agreement involves the full transfer of ownership of the plant building, equipment and land,” the ministry said in a statement, according to Interfax.

Toyota too confirmed the transfer in a press release on Friday.

Neither the Russian ministry nor the Japanese automaker disclosed the terms of the deal.

Russia’s Trade and Industry Ministry said it was looking for ways to resume production at the plant “as soon as possible”.

Toyota announced its decision to end vehicle production in Russia in September, citing growing supply chain problems.

Toyota’s spokesman said “nothing has been decided” on the future of the St Petersburg plant in March, a year after the company suspended production there.

Russian Trade and Industry Minister Denis Manturov said on March 16 that his ministry was considering transferring Toyota’s Russian assets to NAMI.

NAMI has already taken over factories in Russia built by Renault and Nissan following an exodus of Western companies following the Russian invasion of Ukraine last year.

The Russian auto industry has been particularly hard hit by the corporate boycott and tough international sanctions.

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