TOKYO -- Toyota Motor Corp. said on Friday it had not yet decided whether to build a factory in Russia, responding to a newspaper report that it would spend about 15 billion yen ($144 million) on such a plant.
The Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported the same day that the world's second-largest automaker planned to build its first Russian factory in St. Petersburg to meet growing demand in the country.
The plant would become operational in 2007 and assemble 50,000 Camry sedans a year from imported components, the paper said. Welding and painting would also be carried out there.
"We are discussing local production in Russia from various viewpoints based on market trends, but have not yet decided any details," a Toyota spokesman said.
Toyota, which exports various models to Russia such as the Corolla sedan and the RAV4 sport-utility vehicle, would become the first Japanese automaker to produce vehicles in the country, the paper said.
Toyota sold 46,000 vehicles in Russia in 2004, up 83 percent from the year before, the paper said.