Production of the new Datsun on-DO, a family sedan said to have been designed and engineered specifically for Russia, has started at the AvotoVAZ plant in Togliatti in partnership with the Renault Nissan Alliance.

The four-door, five-seater is intended to bring "affordable quality motoring" to a wider reach of Russian customers and the on-DO is assembled on one of the most modern lines in the AvtoVAZ facility.

Over 5,000 employees are involved in the production of the new model and supervisors and shop managers have been trained to Alliance Production Way principles. Two dedicated training zones, manned by Nissan specialists, ensure that the line staff uses Datsun assembly standards.

Vincent Cobee, global head of Datsun and a member of the AvtoVAZ board, said: "The start of on-DO production at AvtoVAZ is the pinnacle of the Datsun project in Russia and the result of months of collaboration and hard work. Datsun will make the dream of purchasing a foreign car for the first time a reality for Russian customers."

AvtoVAZ president Bo Andersson added the Russian carmaker had "benefited from the manufacturing experience of our partners in the Alliance and by virtue of working so well together, AvtoVAZ is stronger and more competitive."

The on-DO is the result of the joint development efforts of engineers from Russia, Japan and other countries and the car was styled in Japan.

On-DO pricing will start at RUB329,000 (US$9,600) and will be available for pre-order at 25 dedicated dealerships in key regions of Russia from the second half of July. Start of sales is planned for the end of the summer.