Kazakhstan car company Lemke Avto said on Tuesday that it talking to Czech Skoda Automobilova A.S about assembling Skoda cars in eastern Kazakhstan, Dow Jones reported.

Lemke Avto, the official dealer of Skoda in Kazakhstan, is considering assembling Skodas and marketing them in Central Asia, Vladimir Simonyan, deputy general director of Lemke Avto, told Dow Jones Newswires in a telephone interview.

"Asian markets develop rapidly and Skoda exports there have very good prospects," Simonyan reportedly said.

According to Dow Jones citing Simonyan, Lemke sold 670 Skodas in Kazakhstan in 2002, beaten only by Japan's Toyota among foreign brands, which sold about 1,000 cars. Lemke plans to sell between 700 and 750 imported Skodas in 2003, the report added.

The talks follow the success of a Skoda assembly plant in nearby Ukraine, Dow Jones noted.

The report said Lemke would produce Skodas at the same 40,000-vehicles-a-year plant where it assembles the Lada Niva sports utility vehicle made by Russia's largest car maker OAO Avtovaz.

Lemke Avto plans to assemble about 10,000 Nivas by the end of the year, Dow Jones said.