Hyundai Motor Co is planning to start building a $400 million car manufacturing plant in northwest Russia in 2008, the local government said on Thursday.

The plant will have the capacity to produce 100,000-200,000 units per year, the Leningrad region said in a statement citing Hyundai's general manager Chan Joo Cho. The Leningrad region is an area surrounding Russia's second city of St Petersburg.

Hyundai, the world's No. 6 auto maker along with its affiliate Kia Motors Corp, already assembles 70,000-80,000 cars annually in Russia, at the independent Taganrog car plant in southern Russia under a license agreement. (Reporting by Denis Pinchuk; writing by Maria Kiselyova; editing by Oleg Shchedrov)