( RIA Novosti ) - Russian car manufacturer Severstal Avto and one of Japan's leading truck producers, Isuzu, signed Wednesday an agreement to produce trucks in Russia.
The agreement was signed within the framework of the Russian-Japanese investment forum held Wednesday in Tokyo, Japan.
Russian Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko said the deal is aimed at developing the vehicle manufacturing industry in Russia, particularly passenger and commercial transport.
The minister said that Russia will receive "the best and most up to date models and know-how in such a sensitive sector as the car industry," adding that the joint venture will start this year and the first trucks are due to hit the market next year.
Severstal Avto and Isuzu agreed to begin production of Isuzu trucks in Russia in February 2006. The two companies announced then that they intended to produce medium-duty Isuzu NQR 71 trucks, with a load capacity of about five metric tons, and heavy-duty Isuzu CXZ 51 trucks, with a load capacity of about 20 metric tons.
A number of foreign companies, including car giants such as America's Ford Motor Company, Germany's Volkswagen and Japan's Toyota, have either opened or are planning to open plants in Russia in the future.
Last September Japan's Nissan put pen to paper to open a plant near Russia's second largest city, St. Petersburg.