Isuzu Motors plans to set up a joint venture with Severstal Auto to produce trucks at the Ulyanovsk Automobile Plant (UAZ), Itar-Tass reported on Thursday, citing representatives at Isuzu's headquarters in Japan.

Isuzu and Severstal Auto plan to sign a memorandum of intent to set up the joint venture during Russian prime minister Mikhail Fradkov's visit to Tokyo scheduled for 27-28 February, the report added.

UAZ, owned by Severstal Auto, has been assembling trucks from Isuzu kits since July 2006. In 2006, UAZ assembled 500 Elf medium-size trucks and plans to sell 10,000 such trucks in Russia by 2009.

Isuzu president Yoshinori Ida said in December 2006 that the corporation intended to build a plant in Russia.