Car maker IzhAvto wants to stop imports of Kia cars from South Korea and to produce all models at its facilities instead, IzhAvto's general director Mikhail Dobyndo told Russian business daily Vedomosti.

IzhAvto has made such a proposal to Kia Motors, he said, according to a Prime-Tass report.

Kia Motors representatives "have already unveiled their plans to annually sell up to 100,000 cars in Russia. IzhAvto is able to produce them," Dobyndo said.

In 2005, Kia sold 24,704 cars in Russia, with imports accounting for 12,457 cars. The rest were assembled by IzhAvto, which produced about 8,000 cars, and Kaliningrad-based Avtotor.

IzhAvto has begun to phase out its cooperation with Russia's largest carmaker AvtoVAZ and is seeking to boost its partnership with Kia. In late 2005, it reportedly stopped assembling VAZ-2106 cars from assembly kits supplied by AvtoVAZ.

IzhAvto also stopped the production of its Izh-2126 cars last year.

IzhAvto, which has an annual production capacity of 220,000 cars per year, produced only 52,800 vehicles in 2005, down from 96,500 in 2004.