Russia's KAMAZ plans $1.5 bln truck investment-paper

MOSCOW, Jan 31 (Reuters) - KAMAZ KMAZ.MM, Russia's largest truck maker, is preparing a $1.5 billion investment programme that would allow it to double annual production to 100,000 units in five years, Kommersant business daily reported on Thursday.

The newspaper, citing several unnamed sources close to KAMAZ, said the truck maker was preparing to increase exports and enter new markets in eastern Europe, southeast Asia and India.

It quoted KAMAZ General Director Sergei Kogogin as saying the company was preparing a new strategy, but said he declined to confirm any details of the programme.

A KAMAZ official declined to comment.

Kommersant reported KAMAZ could become one of the world's top ten heavy truck makers by 2012, competing with companies such as Scania SCVb.ST and MAN MANG.DE, but would also face competition from Chinese and Indian producers. KAMAZ, headquartered in Naberezhnye Chelny in Tatarstan, said this month it sold 52,648 trucks last year and boosted revenues by 23 percent to 85.25 billion roubles ($3.5 billion). KAMAZ produces nearly three quarters of Russian dump trucks and about half of the country's other large cargo vehicles. It exported every fourth truck it produced last year. (Reporting by Robin Paxton; Editing by Quentin Bryar)