AvtoVAZ says it would welcome the move of current GAZ Group CEO, Bo Andersson, to head its operations as the Russian automaker gears up for its "big programme."

GAZ Group continues to remain cagey concerning any resignation of Andersson as the Russian automotive industry digests the shock news of his possible defection to Togliatti, but unsurprisingly, its rival is welcoming the possible development.

Andersson has been recommended to succeed AvtoVAZ chief, Igor Komarov, who is leaving to join Russian space agency, Roskosmos, subject to board approval.

"That [board meeting] is going to be on 4 November - that is in Togliatti," an AvtoVAZ spokesman told just-auto from Russia.

"It would great if this person will be head of AvtoVAZ, Mr Andersson. His [Komarov's] application will be approved or not approved [in] November on this board meeting."

At the meeting, AvtoVAZ chairman, Carlos Ghosn and others, will nominate Andersson as one of the candidates for president.

The AvtoVAZ spokesman said the Russian automaker had a "big programme" ahead of it after Komarov's four and a half year tenure at the helm of the Lada- producing company.

AvtoVAZ recently posted a net loss of RBL1.117bn (US$34m) for the first nine months of the year, compared to RBL1.191bn net profit in the same period last year.

The company also reported revenue fell 1.9% to 131bn roubles.

AvtoVAZ attributed the worsening of its financial results mainly to investment spending on the "modernisation and launch of new car products."

The company's total sales decreased 12% to 397,533 cars in January-September, including 343,368 cars sold in Russia, a 14% decline.

Earlier this year, AvtoVAZ said it was aiming to produce 1m vehicles by 2017 and would need new models to reach that target.

GAZ Group declined to comment on the potential CEO change, while parent, Russian Machines, was not immediately available.

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