Russian carmaker IzhAvto wants to produce more Kia models, Vedomosti business daily reported Tuesday, citing an SOK PR official.

SOK Group controls almost 100% in IzhAvto, Vedomosti said, according to the Prime-Tass news agency.

IzhAvto plans to start mass production of its first Kia Spectra model on August 22.

Currently, the majority of Kia vehicles in Russia are assembled at Avtotor plant in the Kaliningrad Region. Avtotor assembles Kia's Rio, Magentis, and Carnival cars, Sportage sport-utility vehicle (SUV), Predgio minivans and Kia light trucks, Vedomosti said.

However, Kia plans to stop production of the older Sportage and Rio vehicle models at Avtotor soon and to choose between Avtotor and IzhAvto for production of newer Sportages and Rios, Vedomosti said.

The SOK official told Vedomosti that to start the production of new models IzhAvto plans to issue additional shares worth about 1.3 billion rubles. The proceeds are expected to be spent on repaying debts, increasing working assets and investing in Kia vehicle production.

Since 2000, SOK has invested about 2 billion rubles in IzhAvto. The launch of KIA Spectra production cost another $US90 million, Vedomosti said.

IzhAvto plans to produce 8,000 Spectras this year, 25,000 in 2006 and 40,000 in 2007, Vedomosti said, according to Prime-Tass.