General Motors and Avtovaz Joint Venture - 25 September, 2002

General Motors and Russia's top automaker Avtovaz announced a joint venture.

The new creation will be called the Chevrolet Niva and is a Russian-designed product. Engineers from Opel, GM's German subsidiary, have helped Avtovaz refine the initial prototype.

The least expensive Niva will cost about $8,000 in Russia, while another version, quieter and powered with European engines, will cost significantly more.

It is supposed to build up to 75,000 sport-utility vehicles for local and international markets.

The Niva will be sold at Avtovaz dealerships in Russia and GM dealerships abroad. There are plans to export the vehicle to Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America. No exports are planned to the United States or Canada, the story said.

The Niva will be built at a new plant in Togliatti, a city about 600 miles southeast of Moscow, under the terms of a $338 million deal. GM and Avtovaz each get a 41.5 percent stake in the joint venture, worth $99.1 million apiece, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development owns the remaining 17 percent of stock, worth $40 million. The bank is providing $100 million more in loans.

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Author`s name Petr Ermilin