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AvtoVAZ ponders assembly lines in Chile, Egypt

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MOSCOW, August 16 (RIA Novosti) -- Russia's largest carmaker, AvtoVAZ [RTS: AVAZ], is considering the possibility of setting up assembly plants in Chile and Egypt, the company said Thursday.

The All-Russia Auto Alliance (AVVA), which handles investment projects for AvtoVAZ, conducted negotiations with representatives of CORFO, Chile's Production Development Corporation, and the Chile Consulting company on establishing an assembly plant in the South American state.

AVVA also held a series of negotiations on setting up a plant in Egypt, as well as organizing production of spare parts and components for AvtoVAZ in India and Iran.

AvtoVAZ said earlier Thursday its production fell 4.1% in the first half of 2007, year-on-year, to 412,041 cars.

The company previously reported that sales on the domestic market in January-July 2007 decreased 8.6%, year-on-year, but posted an increase in net profit, calculated to Russian Accounting Standards, during the same period by 90%, year-on-year, to 5.1 billion rubles ($196 million).

The trade union at AvtoVAZ held a strike August 1 demanding a considerable pay raise that gathered 150-600 people, according to various estimates. However, the company administration said it considered the strike a violation of labor legislation and said it was planning to fire one of its organizers.

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