VIENNA – ZAO GM-AvtoVAZ increases production of its Chevrolet Niva cross/utility vehicle from 196 units a day to 224.

The auto maker also has hiked its output plan for the year to some 52,000 vehicles. GM-AvtoVAZ currently operates on two shifts after reintroducing its second shift in September.

The auto maker produced 36,996 vehicles last year, up 60.2% from 2009. It shipped 36,837 vehicles to dealers, including 34,913 destined for Russia and 1,924 for Commonwealth of Independent States countries.

GM-AvtoVAZ last week celebrated production of the 350,000th Niva since the vehicle’s launch in September 2002.

The Niva is sold by 150 dealerships in Russia, as well as eight retailers and three distributors in other CIS countries.