GENEVA – Russia’s ZAO Avtotor will launch serial assembly of South Korean-sourced Chevrolet cars at its plant in Kaliningrad this spring, GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co. President and CEO Nick Reilly tells Ward’s at the auto show here.

"We have not long ago finalized an agreement with Avtotor," says Reilly.

Avtotor will assemble the Chevrolet Lacetti, the Tacuma minivan and, later, the new Epica.

"We hope to do probably 15,000, 16,000 cars (at Avtotor) this year, and that could grow," Reilly says.

Lacetti expected to account for 50% of output.

The Lacetti will be assembled from complete-knocked-down kits, while the Tacuma and Epica will be shipped in the form of semi-knocked-down kits to Russia.

Reilly expects the Lacetti to account for about 50% of all Korean Chevrolets assembled at Avtotor.

There currently are no plans to assemble the new Chevrolet Captiva SUV in Russia, Reilly says. (See related story: Chevy Epica, Captiva Making Geneva Debuts )

In December Avtotor assembled a trial batch of 98 GM Daewoo cars.

Last year, Avtotor assembled 16,303 vehicles, including 11,780 Kia Motors Corp. models and 2,293 BMW AG vehicles. The total also includes, from North America, 1,653 Chevrolets, 228 Cadillacs and 161 Hummer H2s. (See related story: Russia’s Avtotor Launches Cadillac Assembly )

In addition to European, Korean and American cars, Avtotor plans to assemble Chinese vehicles.

The plant completed its first four trial Chinese SUVs – three Great Wall Automobile Holding Co. Ltd. vehicles and one Nanjing Yuejin Co. Ltd. SUV – in December. It also plans to add assembly of Chery Automobile Co. Ltd. cars, which may be exported to Western Europe in the future.