On the 28th of November Skoda started assembling vehicles in Kaluga, Russia. With a total capacity of 150,000 vehicles annually, the new facility will account for 40% of the firm’s total worldwide production.
Assembly of Mk I and Mk II Octavias and the New Fabia (for the Russian market) has already started. When it is operating at maximum capacity, a total of 3,000 people will be employed there. “Opening our first production plant in Russia is a milestone in Skoda Auto’s expansion to eastern markets, because the region is growing very dynamically and we look at it with high hopes as far as the future of Skoda Auto is concerned “ said Skoda Chairman, Reinhard Jung. The key factor in selecting the location for the plant was the fact that the majority of Russian sales are in Moscow - less than 200km away from Kaluga. Skoda has sold 27,000 vehicles in Russia so far this year. Compared with the same period in 2006, sales have grown by 82.7% (from 14,835 last year). The best-selling model is the mark 1 Octavia with the 1.4 (70bhp) and 1.6 (100bhp) engines. (newcarnet)