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Lada wants to sell Calina range in UK

Lada, which unveiled a two-seater roadster concept at Moscow motor show, wants to make a come-back in the UK. Spokesman Vladimir Artsykov said: "If anyone can find us a UK importer, we will talk to them."

Lada is recovering from a long battle over taxes described by Mr Artsykov as "difficult political relations". The company has developed a range of small cars called Calina with engines that meet European emission requirements, but does not have the money to put them into production.

Lada showed a saloon version of the Calina and a sportscar concept called the Roadster, based on the same platform. Powered by a 2-litre engine, it was developed with the help of Sbarro, the Italian design house.

Lada also has a revised version of the Niva which is expected to form the basis of a small Chevrolet or Opel 4x4, as and when that joint venture gets off the ground. So far this year Lada has managed to produce 1,000 new Nivas. Multi-national carmakers boycotted Russia's motor show amid allegations of rip-off prices and poor organisation at the 1999 show.

GM, Ford, DaimlerChrysler and BMW led the boycott, joined by Toyota, Nissan, Citroen and Peugeot. Even Daewoo, the leading importer with 8,000 sales in Russia last year, said Niet.

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