Avtotor, based here, has assembled its first new-series BMW vehicle in preparation for regular production of the Series 7 cars, Dilyar Sedov, chief of press services for Avtotor Holding's Kaliningrad subsidiary, told Rosbalt.
The 'seven' is very different from the E-38, which went into production here in 2000-2001. The new business-class sedan features technological advances, including a V-style eight-cylinder engine, an aluminum rear axle and a new, integrated safety system.
The German firm has also given the Kaliningrad plant responsibility for assembling Series 5 BMWs (E-60). Production of E-60s began in March, with 120 vehicles already off the line.
Avtotor reported production of 255 German cars in the first quarter of 2004 in addition to 2,500 South Korean Kia cars of four types. According to Avtotor Acting Director Dmitry Martidi, under terms of the firm's contract with General Motors, the first test assembly of GM offroad Hummers will begin in early May, with regular production set for mid-May.
France is used to terminating large-scale contracts, as that was the case of the Russian-French deal on Mistral helicopter carriers