. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Moldova Lands Minitruck Plant In GAZ Venture

CHISINAU, Moldova -- Moldova and Russia's second biggest carmarker, GAZ, launched a joint venture Friday to assemble GAZelle minitrucks for small and medium businesses in Moldova and neighboring states.

"We have decided to focus our attention on the markets within Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union," said GAZ chief executive Nikolai Pugin.

The Moldovan-Russian company plans to assemble 2,000 GAZelle minitrucks a year in Chisinau, the capital of Moldova, a former Soviet republic between Romania and Ukraine.

GAZelle trucks are already popular with fledgling small businesses in other former communist states, where automobile industries traditionally neglected the small-truck sector.

Acknowledging that Moldova itself is a tiny market, GAZ officials said they counted on good demand for the 1.5-ton trucks in neighboring Romania and Bulgaria.