AvtoVAZ to Start Producing Renault-Based Lada Cars

(Corrects sales figure for 2011 in third paragraph in story originally published Jan. 27.)

OAO AvtoVAZ (AVAZ) plans to start producing a sedan based on Renault SA (RNO) platforms next month amid talks with the French company and its partner Nissan Motor Co. to boost their stake in Russia’s largest automaker.

The first of the new Lada models should roll of the assembly line at the end of February, AvtoVAZ Chief Executive Officer Igor Komarov said in interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, yesterday.

AvtoVAZ will later produce Nissan-branded cars on the same line, allowing AvtoVAZ to boost output to as many as 750,000 cars and kits this year, after selling about 730,000 last year, according to Komarov.

Renault-Nissan Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn said Jan. 9 that the partnership may be “weeks” away from an agreement with AvtoVAZ shareholders to boost its stake to 50 percent from the 25 percent the Renault now holds by itself.

Komarov said he expects Renault-Nissan to reach a deal with other shareholders “soonest.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Lyubov Pronina in Davos, Switzerland at lpronina@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Matthew G. Miller at mmiller144@bloomberg.net

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