General Motors says it is looking to build on the wave of growth in Russia as the country's automotive sector bucks the otherwise gloomy economic environment of neighbouring Europe.

Speaking to media at yesterday's (5 February) GAZ Group production launch of GM's Chevrolet Aveo model at the Nizhny Novgorod plant, GM Russia managing director and president, Jim Bovenzi, emphasised the US automaker was "comfortable" with the brand's success from being manufactured in Russia.

"This is the only place in Europe that we build this car and we are very comfortable this will be a very successful vehicle for GAZ Group and GM," said Bovenzi.

"In 1992, GM started with a representative office in Russia and now Russia is Chevrolet's fourth largest market globally. The country has undergone tremendous growth and GM is committed with Russia and [to] invest more heavily."

GM has other Russian plants apart from Nizhny Novgorod, including sites at Togliatti and St Petersburg, with the latter due to undergo major expansion from 98,000 to 230,000 models per year.

"This country is a milestone," added Bovenzi. "We sold our millionth Chevrolet last year and it was to a customer right here.

"So this country is very important to us. Today is the beginning, but really, 20 months ago a lot of work started."