The Financial Times quoted a senior GAZ Group executive as saying that GAZ expects to sign a deal soon with Germany's Volkswagen AG to build WV and Skoda cars. Controlled by industrial tycoon Oleg Deripaska, GAZ would use its plant in Nizhny Novgorod for the joint-venture project, while VW would use its Kaluga facility in Russia.
Two auto industry sources recently told Reuters that the carmakers were planning a joint venture to produce 300,000 cars annually in Russia.
Siegfried Wolf, chairman of Russian Machines, the holding group that owns GAZ, said a deal “must be signed” by the end of February 2011 and it has to notify the Russian government, the ministry of industry by the end of February 2011 with whom it is teaming up.
Financial Times said Wolf would not confirm that the two companies had reached an agreement, nor discuss details of the proposed deal.
Earlier in February 2011, General Motors Co. said it would assemble 30,000 of its Chevrolet Aveo cars at GAZ's plant in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, to help boost its local presence in the fast-growing market. GM said sales of the small-segment car will start in 2012. [via autonews - sub. required]