TOGLIATTI, RUSSIA-Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin inaugurated a new car manufacturing facility, marking the latest milestone in the expanding partnership between Renault-Nissan Alliance and AvtoVAZ, the Russian automobile manufacturer formerly known as VAZ, but better known to the world under the trade name Lada.

Four hundred million euros were invested into this 250,000-square-meter industrial complex. The complex hosts the new production line inaugurated in early April. The line has a maximum capacity of 350,000 cars per year and will produce vehicles for the three brands: Renault, Nissan and AvtoVAZ.

This new production line contributes to the goal of achieving capacity of at least 1.6 million vehicles per year in Russia by 2016.

"Our collaboration is deepening every day and increasing economies of scale across the Alliance," says Renault-Nissan Alliance CEO and Chairman Carlos Ghosn. "It's a win-win for all parties-and the benefits keep accelerating as Russia becomes Europe's economic engine of growth."

The partnership started in 2008, when Renault bought a 25% stake in AvtoVAZ and began the transfer of technology and know-how to AVTOVAZ manufacturing facilities.

Executives including AvtoVAZ President Igor Komarov, Renault COO Carlos Tavares and Nissan COO Toshiyuki Shiga hosted Putin at the "Job One" ceremony at the AvtoVAZ plant in Togliatti, the largest assembly plant in the world. The first car off the new line was the Lada Largus multi-purpose van.