- Russia's Sollers and Italy's Fiat establish two joint ventures
- Putin unveils car production plant in Russia's Far East
- Fiat plans to produce SUVs in Russia
- Putin tells government, state firms to buy Russian-made cars
Russian automaker Sollers has presented a new version of the off-road Fiat Ducato, a Sollers spokesman told RIA Novosti on Monday.
Sollers, which produces the UAZ sports utility vehicle, have started assembling foreign brands such as Isuzu, launched production in Vladivostok in late December 2009.
"The new car, a 4x4 off-roader, was developed in view of road and driving conditions in Russia's Far East. Sollers will start selling the car in the Far East market in mid-2010," added Varvara Nasyr.
The Fiat Ducato is the first Russian off-road vehicle to be equipped with a 4x4 system which was designed by the French engine manufacturer Dangel.
The car's features include high road clearance, increased cross-country capacity, and heightened security in rough road conditions.
"Sollers is scheduled to start delivering the components for the production of the Fiat Ducato to its Far East plant by the middle of 2010, where it will be making specialized off-road versions of the Ducato, ambulances, school buses and taxis," Nasyr added.
The price of the vehicles was not disclosed.
"We know from our own experience that driving conditions in the Far East are difficult because of the uneven landscape, severe climate and poor road conditions. It is now evident that off-road vehicles are in high demand for the social infrastructure and passenger transportation," Nasyr said, citing Sollers General Director Vadim Shvetsov.
The Sollers plant in Vladivostok, which has 450 employees, began production on December 29, 2009. The company is expected to produce some 15,000 cars annually in the first stage mainly for central Russia's European regions, significantly increasing production throughout Siberia and the Far East in 2011. Once the plant goes into full production, it will begin assembling SsangYong SUVs, Isuzu trucks and Fiat Ducato off-roaders. By 2012, the company plans to produce 40,000 cars annually.
VLADIVOSTOK, February 1 (RIA Novosti)
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