GAZ Group, a part of Russia's biggest business group Basic Element, and Mersa Otomotive have announced plans to develop sales and to set up SKD assembly of GAZelle Business light commercial vehicles in Turkey.

The start of sales is planned for autumn 2012. A network of dealerships and service points is being created.

The Turkish market will be supplied with a chassis cab version of the GAZelle with a Cummins ISF 2.8 engine. The model will be supplied in standard (three seats) and crew cab (seven seats) versions with standard and extended platforms. Espansion of the product range is planned.

In a first stage there will be 12 sales outlets and 21 service centres in Turkey. A group of Turkish specialists will be trained and certified at GAZ Group’s headquarters in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. A training center is also being set up in Turkey where GAZ specialists and Mersa Otomotiv certified trainers will give advanced professional training to employees from the Turkish service stations. By the start of sales a stock of spare parts will ready in Turkey and a system of quick delivery to the sales outlets and service stations will be established.

SKD assembly will take place at the production facilities of Mersa Otomotiv in Istanbul.

President and CEO of GAZ Group Bo Andersson said: "GAZelle Business is the most popular light commercial vehicle in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus, as well as in the other CIS countries. We are sure that the Turkish customers will highly valuee simple and reliable design, low fuel consumption, high manoeuvrability and low cost of ownership."