IZHEVSK, Russia – OAO IzhAvto, Russia’s second-largest car manufacturer, appoints Mikhail Dobyndo, former vice president of Lada maker OAO AvtoVAZ, its new managing director.

Dobyndo, 53, joined AvtoVAZ in 1971 and was named vice president-production in 1999.

He succeeds Dmitri Ryabov, who has moved up to head the automotive activities of the SOK Group. SOK controls IzhAvto, the assembly plant ZAO RosLada and several suppliers. Ryabov also will be in charge of IzhAvto’s venture with Kia Motors Corp. to produce the Kia Spectra. (See related story: IzhAvto to Assemble Kia Spectra)

IzhAvto produced some 80,500 vehicles in the first 10 months of 2003, up 20% from like-2002. It builds Izh Oda cars and pickup trucks and Lada 2104 and 2106 cars. Kia Spectra production is scheduled to begin in November 2004.