VIENNA –submits a memorandum of intent to the Russian Ministry of Economic Development calling for local production of cars and commercial vehicles.
The Italian auto maker plans to establish manufacturing capacity for up to 300,000 vehicles a year, in accordance with requirements of the Russian government’s new motor vehicles industrial assembly regulations, also known as Decree 166.
“The product plan will be principally based on production of C- and D-segment cars, SUVs and light-commercial vehicles,”says in a prepared statement. The Fiat brand and ’s Jeep marque “will be the mainstay of this project.”
There is no information about the possible location of the plant or the timing of the project.
Originally, Fiat expected to cooperate on production with Russian vehicle maker Sollers. However, Sollers andlast week announced a plan to establish a joint venture.
Fiat’s current position in Russia is weak. Only 788 cars and light-commercial vehicles were sold in January, placing the brand at No.27.
A large portion of Fiat vehicles currently sold in Russia are manufactured or assembled at Sollers’ plants in the Republic of Tatarstan, which are expected to buildvehicles in the future.
Foreign auto makers have until the end of February to submit applications to participate in the Decree 166 program, which grants lower tariffs on imported parts in exchange for meeting targets on vehicle production volumes and local content.