AVTOVAZ TO COME UP IN PARIS WITH CUTTING-EDGE VEHICLES

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PARIS, September 24 (RIA Novosti's Andrei Nizamutdinov) - An international car show, one of the world's largest and best-known, is opening in Paris tomorrow.

The Russian-based AVTOVAZ autoworks has the Kalina among its most spectacular exhibits.

"This is a first time we are showing it in Europe. We have two modifications on display-a sedan and a hatchback. A cross-section will also appear to prove compliance with European cleanliness and passive safety standards," Alexander Yegoshin, company mass communication centre manager, said to Novosti.

The Kalina sedan will be launched into mass production, November 18. It will appear on sale in Russia before the year's end, and necessary formalities will start early next year to officially recognise its compliance with European standards.

"We are all but sure it will come through the tests. The same awaits the hatchback in a year, sharp," said Mr. Yegoshin.

The AVTOVAZ will also offer a Lada Revolution racing car in Paris. This Niva SUV modification is fairly popular in France and elsewhere in Europe. The company will also display a test hydrogen-engine car, and three Lada 10s.

The vehicles may look their long-established selves, on the outside-but all are quite new. They comply with European passive safety standards, and are below the Euro 3 air pollution threshold. Each has a 1.6 litre engine and a servo control unit.

Each of these improvements costs a round sum, so the cars will be more expensive than their forerunners-$8.5 to 9.5 thousand apiece, depending on the modification and equipment set. Our interviewee expects the Kalina to take up the vacated price niche, at $6,000-6,500.

The Logan may come up a formidable rival after the Renault mammoth sets up a joint venture in Moscow to assemble the pioneer car at the AZLK, going at about Kalina prices, remarked our reporter. To that, Alexander Yegoshin replied:

"We'll wait and see just what turn the things may take. Many companies-suffice it to mention the Ford or the Daewoo-said they had far-reaching intentions [for partnership with Russia]. After that, manufacture either came to a standstill or froze at a negligible level. We know what to offer if we come up against competition. We have two or three brand-new makes to launch while they are merely preparing final assembly."

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