(Corrects to clarify holding agreement in fifth paragraph of April 9 story.)
Nissan Motor (7201) Co. plans to start making low-cost Datsun models in Russia next year using a chassis by OAO AvtoVAZ (AVAZ), the second foreign auto maker to integrate a Russian base into an international brand after the Chevrolet Niva began production in 2000.
Production is slated to begin in 2014, AvtoVAZ Chief Financial Officer Oleg Lobanov said today at the annual Automotive Forum in Moscow. Russia’s biggest carmaker also expects to make about 1 million cars per year by 2020 using four platforms including the B0 by Renault, Lobanov said. AvtoVAZ started Nissan Almera production based on the B0 in December and is preparing to assemble a Renault model on the same platform, he said.
“Unification of the product lines will allow construction of an effective production system,” Lobanov said. “Picking the Kalina base for the international brand is proof of AvtoVAZ’s quality of development.”
Nissan announced the revival of the Datsun brand in March 2012 after it was shelved more than 30 years ago. The company plans to start sales of newly developed Datsun cars in 2014 in South Africa, India, Indonesia and Russia, Nissan said in a statement in February.
A Renault-Nissan alliance signed an agreement with Russian Technologies, the main AvtoVAZ shareholder, to boost control of the carmaker in December. The alliance will get 67.13 percent of the joint venture, which will get 74.5 percent of AvtoVAZ.
Nissan sales fell 15 percent to 35,916 cars in the first three months of 2013 from a year earlier, while AvtoVAZ sales slumped 2 percent to 107,427 cars, according to the Association of European Business.
General Motors Co. (GM) used a car base developed by AvtoVAZ in 2000 to produce the Chevrolet Niva off-road vehicle. Niva is one of the top 10 cars in Russia by sales, according to AEB.
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