Nissan – Made in Russia, Courtesy of AvtoVAZ

The Japanese carmaker Nissan is looking to boost its production in Russia and might sign an agreement with local manufacturer AvtoVAZ to start building B segment cars by 2012. Nissan already owns a $200 million car plant in St. Petersburg – which has an estimated production capacity of 50,000 units per year, but the company is forecasting growing demand in the region.

Nissan’s well-known ally Renault is holding a 25 percent stake in AvtoVAZ, so a deal between the two is expected to encounter no difficulties. According to Reuters, the three companies are also talking on a new joint venture to start manufacturing car parts in Russia.

"Our intention is to assemble one of the 'B' class models offered by the (Renault-Nissan) alliance in 2012,
" said Vitaly Vilchik, AvtoVAZ's acting vice president.

According to the aforementioned source, as part of the deal, Nissan would set up the assembly lines at AvtoVAZ’s Samara production facility. "At Nissan they understand that the St. Petersburg facility is not sufficient, they are counting on a recovery of the market," a source quoted by Reuters explained.

Dubbed Russia’s largest carmaker, AvtoVAZ earlier this week announced its plans to cut about a quarter of its workforce, meaning that approximately 27,600 people out of the over 100,000 employees will lose their jobs. Approximately 13,000 workers are expected to leave the Russian company this year but AvtoVAZ is yet to disclose the official layoff figures.

"The enterprise is working on one shift and at 65 percent of capacity. Lowering personnel numbers is essential in such a situation,"
AvtoVAZ said in a statement.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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