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Renault to expand Moscow plant in 2009

MOSCOW, May 6 (RIA Novosti) - A joint Russian-French company producing Renault Logan cars in Russia is to expand its Moscow-based factory by late 2009, a spokesperson for Moscow's department for science and industrial policy said on Tuesday.

The supervisory board of Avtoframos, in which the Moscow city government holds just under 6%, has approved the program to build and commission in the second half of 2009 the second part of the plant, which is expected to eventually double the plant's capacity.

The Moscow city government representative said that now that design work has been completed, Moscow will assign real estate for the project in the near future, while Renault will allocate extra funds for equipment for the plant.

The new project will create 1,000 jobs, said the representative of the department, whose chief, Yevgeny Panteleyev, has been re-elected as chairman of the Avtoframos supervisory board for 2008.

The Moscow city government and Renaults set up Avtoframos in 1998. The joint venture rolled out around 80,000 cars in 2007, a 41% rise on the previous year.

Renault sales in Russia increased 148% in 2006 year-on-year to over 72,000 cars, and more than 45,000 cars were sold in the first half of 2007.

Renault continues developing its network in Russia, which currently comprises 74 dealer companies in 61 cities.

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