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    RUSSIA'S MOTOR MAKER TO DELIVER 1,000 RIGHT-HAND DRIVE CARS TO SOUTH AFRICA

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    NIZHNY NOVGOROD, March 18, 2004 (RIA Novosti) - GAZ, Russia's car manufacturer based in Nizhny Novgorod, is expected to deliver 1,000 right-hand drive minibuses to the Republic of South Africa this year, reported the GAZ press service.

    The initial batch will comprise 50 minibuses. The republic announced a tender for the supply of cars for its association of taxi owners back in 2001. However, for an unknown reason, the tender was never held. Taxi owners, meanwhile, established direct contacts with car producers, according to GAZ.

    The minibuses to be supplied to South Africa are outfitted with Styer diesel engines, which GAZ assembles under a relevant license. Moreover, the manufacturer has updated lighting engineering and made other changes to the panel.

    The car maker plans to launch the production of flat right-hand drive GAZel minibuses this year. These vehicles may also be delivered to South Africa in the future.

    India has also shown an interest in GAZ right-hand drive minibuses, said the press service. The plant is holding relative talks with the country.

    GAZ is expected to export a total of 50,00-53,000 vehicles in 2004, the main consumers of its products being CIS countries, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

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