Valeo will this year set up production facilities in Russia this year to accompany automakers setting up assembly there.
Chief executive Thierry Morin told Dow Jones Newswires Valeo is no longer in a hurry to dispose of non-strategic assets, because of weakening valuations.
The news agency noted Valeo has been absent from Russia up to now, but its big French clients, PSA Peugeot-Citroen and Renault, recently committed to manufacturing investments in the country.
“We will have plants in Russia this year,” Morin told Dow Jones. “We are looking at both greenfield sites and partnerships with existing automotive suppliers to get market share and a foothold in their client base.”
Valeo already supplies Avtoframos, a Renault affiliate that builds the Logan low-budget sedan near Moscow, where production is expected to nearly double next year to 180,000 vehicles.
Morin reportedly said Valeo is also keen to supply OAO AvtoVaz, Russia’s biggest automaker, which earlier this year signed a billion-dollar deal giving a 25% stake to Renault. AvtoVaz and Renault plan to bring out their first joint Lada car by the end of 2009.