Luc-Alexandre Ménard, Renault's senior vice-president, public affairs and Euromed regional leader (eastern Europe and Mediterranean zone), and E Panteleev, Moscow government minister on Wednesday signed a framework agreement in Paris concerning the implementation of the project to increase production at the Avtoframos plant in Moscow.

This agreement, which follows the heads of agreement document signed on 2 February 2007, involves increasing the capacity of the plant to 160,000 vehicles a year.

The City of Moscow will make available the necessary land for this expansion, while Renault will invest $150m renovating buildings and installing production equipment.

Production is due to begin in two years' time with the introduction of a new model based on the Logan platform. The principal phases of the project's implementation over the next 18 months include the site's refurbishment to meet the needs of the new activity, as well as the renovation of the plant buildings and operational floor space.

Meanwhile, the City of Moscow will develop a suppliers' zone on the land it will continue to own and which will be specially prepared for the purpose.

As part of its plans to expand production at the Avtoframos plant, Renault expects to recruit approximately 1,000 staff.

The signing of this framework agreement forms part of the Renault group's growth on what is a highly promising market where the brand's sales are expanding quickly. More than 28,000 Renaults were registered during the first four months of the current year (up 71.1% compared with the same period in 2006), while the total market itself increased by 28.8%.

Sales of Logan have totalled 19,604 since the start of the year and the model continues to be the best-selling foreign saloon in Russia. The automaker sold just over 72,000 vehicles there last year.