Renault to sell Sandero hatchbacks in Russia from 2H09

MOSCOW, July 15 (RIA Novosti) - France's largest car manufacturer, Renault, said Tuesday it would start selling its new Sandero hatchback in Russia in the latter half of 2009.

Initially the compact urban hatchbacks will be imported from Romania, but before the end of next year the Sandero will become Renault's second model - after the popular Logan - to be assembled at its Avtoframos plant in Moscow.

The Sandero is based on the Renault-Nissan platform that is the starting point for the Logan, and it is a similarly inexpensive small family car with a spacious interior.

The new car will be available with gasoline- and diesel-powered engines.

Established in 1998, Avtoframos will double its capacity in 2009 to 160,000 cars annually. The car plant will continue to assemble Logans after the launch of the Sandero.

Renault sold 101,200 cars in Russia last year. The Logan is ranked among the country's most popular foreign cars.

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