Sollers is expected to launch car production at its new facility in Russia's far east by the end of October, Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin, said, Sollers CEO Vadim Shvetsov.

After a meeting between Putin, Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, and chief executives of Russian companies running large-scale projects with Italian partners, the Italian prime minister expressed interest in buying the first UAZ off-road vehicle produced by the new plant, Peskov told Prime-Tass.

Earlier this month, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said his company planned to organise production of off-road vehicles with Sollers in Russia.

Sollers currently produces its own UAZ-branded cars and assembles Fiat, SsangYong, and Isuzu vehicles at its plants in the constituent republic of Tatarstan.