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Volkswagen: Production in Russia launched

Volkswagen has launched its new production facility in Kaluga, Russia.

Volkswagen is starting with kit assembly of the Passat sedan and the Skoda Octavia in the spring. The company said Thursday that new cars will only be on sale in Russia early next year, “after building sizable stock.” No model will be sold in Russia priced above $15,000, VW vows.

The company later plans to add production of the Skoda Fabia and a Russian remake of the VW Polo model, expected to be priced in the $10,000 range.

When fully operational mid 2009, the factory will churn out seven models. Among them will be VW’s Jetta sedan, Passat, Tiguan and Touareg, and two Skoda models, the Octavia sedan and the Fabia hatchback.

The carmaker plans to build 66,000 cars at the plant next year, but total capacity is 115,000 cars annually, which could be boosted to 150,000 cars later. VW will invest $750 million and plans to employ about 5,000 people when the plant is fully up and running.

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Source: Inside Line