Following over six months of negotiations, Ukraine's AutoZAZ has finally signed the contract for the purchase of a 20.36% stake in the FSO car manufacturer.

The signing ceremony took place in Gdynia, in the presence of Presidents of Poland and Ukraine, Aleksander Kwaśniewski and Victor Yushchenko during an Economic Forum. This is good news for the ailing and indebted domestic producer, however, the support has to be continued in the form of introducing a new model which would be well received by the market. It is still unknown what model will replace the current Matiz and Lanos, the rights to the production of which will last until the end of 2006.

"The investor declares his intent to produce 150,000 cars per annum. AutoZAZ is also in negotiations over the rights to produce a new car, but as yet it is still unknown who they are talking to. According to the contract, it has to be a car not only competitive on the Ukrainian market but also in the European Union," revealed Deputy Treasury Minister Dariusz Witkowski. It is also known that the investor is obliged to maintain the current workforce of 2,200.

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