• Kyodo

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Toyota Motor Corp. Chairman Hiroshi Okuda talked Wednesday with former Russian Prime Minister Sergei Kirienko, now President Vladimir Putin’s official envoy to the Volga Federal District, to exchange views on possible Toyota auto production in Russia.

The meeting between Okuda and Kirienko took place in Nizhny Novgorod, the hub of Russia’s automobile industry in the Volga River region, according to the office of the presidential envoy.

In Japan in late August, Kirienko asked Okuda to fly to Russia to study possible production of Toyota automobiles in Russia or a tieup with Russian automakers, officials at the office said.

Toyota has said it is studying the feasibility of starting car production in Russia.

The automaker will step up the feasibility study on the basis of the results of Okuda’s on-site inspection of the Russian automobile sector, industry sources said.

Kirienko was appointed by Putin to head the Volga Federal District in May 2000, when Putin consolidated Russia’s regional administrative areas into seven federal administrative districts.

Chrysler coupe coming

Staff report

The Japanese unit of German-American auto giant DaimlerChrysler AG said Thursday it will launch the new Chrysler Crossfire compact coupe on the domestic market Dec. 13.

The two-seater sports car features an engine displacement of 3,200cc.

The company has set a sales target of 200 units for this year, with the price of the new model set at 4.9 million yen.

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