* Nissan exec says alliance can boost market share
* Says Russia market is normalising
GENEVA, March 2 (Reuters) - Partners Nissan 7201.T, Renault RENA.PA and Lada maker AvtoVAZ AVAZ.MM could win as much as 40 percent of the Russian car market by 2014-15, a senior Nissan executive said on Tuesday.
“In the future if Lada can maintain 25 (percent market share) with our help, 40 percent -- 7 for Renault and 7 for Nissan seems reasonable, especially if we’re building off the same parts base and we’re rouble-ised,” said Colin Dodge, an Executive Vice President of the Japanese carmaker, adding 2014-15 was a feasible date for this.
“I really do think if we can get it right we could definitely be very powerful in that country because no one else is trying it,” said Dodge, referring to the three-way partnership.
“We can do things they (competitors) can’t do on price, technology, higher-specifications, Japanese technology,” Dodge said.
Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn, who is also CEO of Renault’s alliance, said on Monday that Renault could increase its 25 percent stake in AvtoVAZ. [ID:LDE6201X1]
Renault spent $1 billion on its AvtoVAZ stake in 2008, betting on the booming Russian market. But the crisis slashed access to credit in the market, and sales halved last year.
Dodge said he was sure the Russian market would eventually overtake Germany -- as it had been expected to do before the crisis hit -- but he said he did not know when that would be.
“For me it looks as though Russia is normalising and coming back. I can’t forecast when it will cross over the best days but I think it will. It seems that something fundamentally good is happening in Russia and people are buying cars again.”
Dodge said a joint assembly line at AvtoVAZ’s Togliatti site to be split between the three carmakers would have a production capacity of 280,000 units.
Reporting by Helen Massey-Beresford, Editing by John Bowker in Moscow and David Cowell
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