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Mitsubishi and Magnetto to start motor works in Russia

Japanese car-maker Mitsubishi will soon take its final steps towards producing vehicles in Russia, while Italian auto-parts maker Magnetto has agreed a joint venture with Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works. In both projects, production will begin by 2010.

One of the strongest markets

Next week Mitsubishi will sign a deal with the Russian government signifying its intention to assemble cars in the country by 2010.

The deal is likely to grant Mitsubishi a lowered tariff rate on auto-components for eight years.

Russia is one of Mitsubishi's strongest markets and the firm is hoping the country's growth will help drive future expansion.

Sales of foreign car brands in Russia soared by 63% in the first eleven months of this year.

The Japanese company expects to sell more than 100,000 cars in Russia this year, up from 70,000 in 2006.

Agreement reached

In the meantime Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works and leading Italian auto parts maker Magnetto have reached an agreement to set up a joint venture in St. Petersburg.

The construction of the new car component stamping plant and a service centre will cost almost $US 120 million.

The plant will initially process 125,000 tonnes of steel per year from 2010, with a possible increase to 300,000 tonnes over time.