Russian, foreign automakers showcase achievements in Moscow

21:07, August 25, 2010      

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Stunningly beautiful girls overshadowed cars at the Moscow International Automobile Salon (MIAS), which opened Wednesday.

During the show, which lasts until Sept. 5, nine global, seven European and 62 Russian models will be unveiled along with 20 concept cars.

Eighty companies from 12 countries have participated in the international car industry event.

This year, the number of participants dropped significantly compared with previous MIAS event in 2008, when more than 1,000 companies from 30 countries took part.

Nonetheless, organizers were expecting a crowd of more than 1.6 million to attend the exhibition.

Hyundai Motors presented the concept of a family sedan with manual transmission adjusted for Russian climate and road conditions. This car will be produced in Hyundai's plant in St. Petersburg, starting 2011.

The plant hopes to make up to 100,000 units a year. The South Korean company has invested 400 million U.S. dollars in the plant, according to RBC news agency.

French-Japanese company Renault presented a business-class Latitude sedan created after the Renault-Samsung SM5. The car, specially designed for the Russian market, will be provided with a 2.5-liter engine.

Renault, which owns three brands -- Renault, Dacia and Samsung -- has a 25-percent stake in Russia's biggest, yet loss-making car manufacturer AvtoVAZ, as well as in another Russian car producer, Avtoframos, where it assembles Logan and Sandero models.

AvtoVAZ itself announced a new R90 Lada model, a 7-seat wagon co-produced with Renault-Nissan. It will go into mass production in March 2012.

AvtoVAZ also presented its flagship models, the Lada Priora and Lada Kalina, equipped with Glonass navigation systems, the Prime-Tass news agency reported.

The Russian government's "beloved child" in the auto industry was displaying 11 models in total, including two concept cars, one of which uses natural gas as fuel.

AvtoVAZ produces about 800,000 no-frills cars annually in the budget price segment.

China's Great Wall Motor brought its 4x4 Hover M2 for the first time to Europe.

Meanwhile, Russian car maker Sollers announced its plans to launch co-production of an off-roader with Kazakhstan's Asia-Auto with an initial production run of 10,000 cars, RIA Novosti news agency reported.

Sollers makes UAZ, SsangYong, Fiat and Isuzu models in its three plants. The company also has invested 2.7 billion dollars in a joint venture with Italy's Fiat.

Sollers also has started local production of one version of SsangYong New Actyon that will go to the market in Feb. 2011.

Ukrainian ZAZ offered its first car with automatic transmission. The Chance sedan and hatch-back models will be the cheapest automatics in the Russian market with price tag not exceeding 10,000 dollars in the basic package. This model is aimed at taking on the popular Chevrolet Lanos.

Besides professional events, the MIAS offers extensive entertainment programs for young visitors, sport cars fans and car designers, as well as side-shows for expendable parts producers and service companies.



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