General Motors opens new production line in Russia

A temporary production plant in St Petersburg has begun to output Opel Astras, using kits from the German Bochun plant. It plans to produce 25,000 cars this year.

The new permanent assembly plant will cost $300 million, or 203 million euros, and will open at the end of 2008.

GM’s European president, Carl-Peter Forster, said in a statement: "With its exciting design and outstanding quality, the Opel Astra will meet the high demands of our Russian customers.

"Building the Opel Astra in St. Petersburg is another important step forward to leverage the enormous opportunities in Russia, Europe’s largest growth market."

Sales of the Astra in Russia in 2007 topped 29,000 – up from 9,500 cars in 2006.

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