GAZ, the Nizhny Novgorod-based producer of light commercial vehicles and China's Huan-Hai auto plant plan to open an assembly plant for Gazelle vans in the Chinese city of Dandong. The company announced its plans in a media release.

The two companies signed a protocol of intent during the Technology from Russia-2002 fair in Shenyang, held last month.

GAZ output increased by 10% in the first quarter of this year as demand for its commercial vehicle products picked up along with Russia's accelerating economy. Demand for its Gazelle van has been especially strong.

The company is currently in talks with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to restructure its debt.