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Last Updated: Monday, 9 July 2007, 06:57 GMT 07:57 UK
Nissan drives into Russian market
Nissan car production
Nissan is hoping to cash in on the booming Russian market
Japanese carmaker Nissan has begun building work on a multi-million dollar car plant in Russia.

The $200m (99.5m) St Petersburg plant will open in 2009, employ 750 people and produce 50,000 cars a year.

Russia's booming economy and fast growing market has attracted a number of carmakers in recent years - most notably Toyota, Renault and Kia Motors.

Accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers have predicted that the Russian car market will be worth $96bn in sales by 2011.

"This is a significant step for Nissan in Russia," Nissan executive vice president Carlos Tavares said at a ceremony to mark the start of work on the site.

"Geographic expansion is very important to us."

Nissan, Japan's second-largest carmaker, will assemble X-Trail 4x4 cars and Teana saloons at the site for sale exclusively in Russia.

Building of the plant comes almost a month after Nissan said its bosses would not be paid bonuses this year after the group suffered an 11% drop in profits, the first decline in seven years.

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