Fiat-Chrysler to Produce 500,000 Cars Per Year Through Russian Sollers JV

Fiat SpA plans to produce up to 500,000 Fiat and Chrysler cars a year in Russia through its 2.4 billion euro ($3.29 billion) joint venture with local partner Sollers, as Reuters reports.

According to a Government statement cited by the agency, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will attend the signing ceremony between Fiat and Sollers which takes place today in the town of Naberezhnye Chelny. The plant will produce nine Fiat and Chrysler models. A small part of the production output is destined for export.

Through this tie-up, Fiat and Sollers is expected to become Russia’s second-largest car producer after AvtoVaz, which is 25 percent owned by Renault.

Fiat and Sollers have been collaborating in Russia since 2006. Sollers currently produces Fiat light and commercial vehicles, Russian UAZ off-road vehicles, Korean SsangYong vehicles, Japanese ISUZU cargo trucks and ZMZ petrol & diesel engines. The company is also in the process of developing a dealer network and already has a financial arm.

The Russian automotive market is passing through a very difficult period, as it has contracted by around 50 percent last year, only reaching a figure of 1.36 million units. This decrease affected all vehicle segments and, as a result, the best-selling five brands in Russia, Lada, Chevrolet, Ford, Hyundai and Renault all registered falling sales. Kia was the only volume automaker in the country to post a sales increase in 2009. Russian authorities will introduce a scrappage scheme in 2010, offering 1,125 euro for each new car (under certain conditions).
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