With only 230 out of 1000 citizens of Russia owning a vehicle, Renault sees a huge upside to that country's market potential. That is why, in part, despite dismal 2009 sales in Russia, the company recently expanded production capacity at its Avtoframos plant in Moscow from 80,000 to 160,000 per year.
Renault invested about €150 million in the expansion, inauguration of which was celebrated March 1. The expansion allows for introduction of the Sandero five-seat hatchback on the same lengthened production line on which the Logan is built. The line will accommodate production of another model by the end of 2011, the company says.
A new paint shop and expansion of the body shop from a capacity of 15 to 30 vehicles per hour were other major elements of the plant expansion.
The city of Moscow owns 4.5% of the plant. Local content for the Logan and Sandero is 44%, with a goal of 75%. At 53,869 units, the Logan was the best-selling foreign-branded vehicle in Russia in 2009, according to Renault.