AvtoVAZ plans to start a due-diligence appraisal of automobile plant IzhAvto next week, AvtoVAZ Group's President Boris Alyoshin has said.

AvtoVAZ will carry out its appraisal of IzhAvto jointly with its partner Renault-Nissan, Prime-Tass reported.

In February, Alyoshin said AvtoVAZ was in talks on buying IzhAvto from Russia's second largest carmaker SOK Group. SOK Group, a Russian private holding, has reportedly offered to sell Renault a 98% stake in the plant.

Alyoshin also said that AvtoVAZ was in talks on buying assets to expand its production capacities in Russia and abroad.

Speaking about the possible acquisition of Kaliningrad-based assembly plant Avtotor, Alyoshin said that a delegation of AvtoVAZ and Renault had visited the plant. Alyoshin added, however, that it was too early to say anything specific on the issue.

IzhAvto is based in the city of Izhevsk in the constituent republic of Udmurtia. The carmaker currently assembles Lada-2104 and Lada-2107 cars from AvtoVAZ car kits. IzhAvto also assembles Kia cars.

IzhAvto produced 78,802 vehicles in 2007, up 21% on the year.