In the meantime, the Japanese automaker said it plans to double production capacity this year at its St. Petersburg plant to 60,000 cars, according to Dmitry Mikhailov, general director of Nissan Manufucturing Rus.
Mikhailov said Nissan currently has no plans in the short term to expand its Russian model range, which consists of three models — the X-Trail and Murano crossovers and the Teana sedan.
However, Nissan reportedly wants to launch production of a new budget car specially designed for Russia, with a target price of $15,000. Production startup is tentatively slated for late 2012 or early 2013.
According to local media reports, the new car will be built on the Renault-Nissan Alliance's B0 platform, which underpins the Dacia and Renault Logan cars and their derivatives. The assembly of a new budget sedan is expected to be carried out at the Togliatti plant of AvtoVAZ, Nissan's Russian partner.
The new Russian model is expected to be similar to the Logan-based Nissan Aprio that was built and sold in Mexico for three years, from 2007-'10.
Nissan built 24,500 cars in St. Petersburg in 2010. The plant opened in 2009.
Russian analysts believe the new Nissan compact sedan could secure a significant share in the local market.