GM opens its first factory in Russia

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia -- General Motors gm has opened its first Russian assembly plant.

The $300 million, 70,000-car-a-year factory dedicated Friday just outside St. Petersburg is a bright spot for the staggering automotive giant.

This plant is GM's first in Russia, where demand for cheap, well-built cars has exploded amid a decade-long economic boom.

GM already produces 100,000 cars a year through Russian joint ventures.

The St. Petersburg region has become a mecca for foreign car manufacturers. Ford and Toyota have opened plants there and Nissan, Hyundai and Suzuki will be launching production soon.

Elsewhere, GM is having one of the worst years in its history.