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Plans to raise capacity of Petersburg carmakers remain unchanged after Russia’s WTO accession

December 21, 2011, 20:15 UTC+3

The biggest part of the participants in the St. Petersburg automobile cluster raised their capacities

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ST. PETERSBURG, December 21 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) cannot exert negative impact on the St. Petersburg-based carmakers’ plans to raise their capacities and expand their localisation, Chairman of the St. Petersburg Committee on Investments and Strategic Projects Alexei Chichkanov told reporters on Wednesday.

Carmakers became raising questions on possible changes in their own development strategies in connection with the country’s upcoming accession into the World Trade Organisation three months ago, when it became clear that the WTO joining would occur soon, he said. “At the same time, there is no clear vision, which consequences may be for car-producers from this step,” Chichkanov said.

He believes that the country’s accession to the WTO cannot affect on the plans for the output growth, “because Russia kept customs duties for car exports, as it is envisaged by the accession conditions.”

“Most likely, the plans for the increase of car production will be fulfilled,” Chichkanov said.

In his words, the biggest part of the participants in the St. Petersburg automobile cluster raised their capacities.

For instance, the Hyundai company has already produced 120,000 cars planned for this year, including 20,000 Kia Rio cars, he said. This year, the Hyundai plant commissioned new facilities, which allowed the company to raise its capacity to 200,000 cars a year. Next year, the company plans to achieve the aforesaid indicator, Chichkanov said.

The company also expanded the pool of Hyundai Motor Company suppliers up to 200,000 car sets a year, he said. Currently, the output capacity of the first stage of the plant is 150,000 car sets a year.

The Magna company also plans to raise its capacity from 150,000 to 200,000 car sets a year starting from 2012, the chairman of the city’s investment committee said.

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