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General Motors bids for stake in Russian car-maker

According to General Motors, it's made a bid for a 'significant stake' in Russia's largest car-maker Avtovaz. General Motors says it's looking to boost its sales in Russia and that buying into Avtovaz is one way of achieving this.

General Motors is also opening a new plant in St Petersburg, which is expected to start production in 2008. 

Russian sales of foreign-made cars have soared by more than 60% this year, taking market share from the Russian auto-manufacturer.  It's been trying to fight back by overhauling its range and increasing its ties with international manufacturers. 

It has longstanding ties with General Motors and is taking part in a joint venture to produce Chevrolet Nivas in the Russian city of Togliatti.