General Motors wants Chevrolet to regain its position as Russia’s top-selling foreign brand, a GM Russia director told Automotive News Europe (ANE).

“We will continue to strive to be no. 1 in the market,” Warren Browne said in an interview. GM and competitor Ford want to take advantage of an auto market that grew 22% last year to 1.8m cars sold, the majority of them foreign brands.

Ford, the top-selling foreign brand in Russia last year, has set a new car sales goal of 150,000 in 2007.

Browne said “customer satisfaction, dealership development and product initiatives” will help Chevrolet achieve a sales boost of up to 137,000 units.

Ivan Bonchev, automotive analyst at Ernst & Young, said GM’s target was realistic. “The market is booming and there’s a lot of unmet demand,” he told ANE.

Chevrolet was Russia’s top foreign brand until 2005.