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Sberbank confirms talks on foreign van production at Russian ZIL

December 20, 2013, 14:57 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, December 20. /ITAR-TASS/. Car manufacturers Renault of France and Italy's Fiat are in talks with MosAvtoZIL, a joint venture of Moscow's government and Sberbank of Russia, about production of Renault Master and Fiat Ducato light commercial vehicles (LCVs).

They would be made at the Moscow plant of truck manufacturer ZIL, Sberbank’s press office told Itar-Tass. Planned volumes have not been disclosed for reasons of commercial confidentiality but one source told Itar-Tass that Fiat would start assembling Ducato vans from April 2014 in an amount of 40,000 units a year.

Renault Russia managing director Bruno Ancelin said in September that Renault and Fiat were in talks about assembling 50,000 LCVs a year - 25,000 for each company. General Director of MosAvtoZIL Igor Kulgan also confirmed the fact of negotiations but did not elaborate.

Preliminary agreement with the foreign partners was signed on August 1, Sberbank said. “A legally binding agreement may be signed in the near future if the sides settle the pending questions,” the bank's press office added.

Renault officials confirmed to Itar-Tass that negotiations were proceeding. Renault was carrying out an initial feasibility study and estimating the investment involved in a process due for completiton by the spring. No elaboration was offered on the model to be produced.

MosAvtoZIL has been involved in a number of discussions about partnerships with vehicle manufacturers. PSA Peugeot Citroen and Hyundai were said to have been involved in past negotiations about LCV assembly at ZIL.

Talks were wound up with Peugeot Citroen, while Hyundai, despite reports of an agreement with ZIL on assembly operations from the second quarter of 2013, did not begin operations.

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