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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Lada Nivas to Roll Out in Ethiopia

Tolyatti-based car dealer Motorika said it would build a $100 million factory in Ethiopia to assemble customized Lada Nivas to serve as ambulances in hard-to-reach rural areas.

The factory will also assemble Lada and Niva cars, which are cherished in parts of Africa for their cheap prices and their maneuverability in difficult terrain.

The factory, which will also manufacture spare parts, will be located in Debre Markos, a town 350 kilometers north of the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

Coplico Balantin, the owner of Motorika, said he had picked the site for the factory due to support from the Ethiopian government and the presence of the Afro-Asian Technical Enterprise, Africa's sole electric bus assembly factory, the Ethiopian government said on its web site Sunday.

The plant will cost more than $100 million, Motorika said on its web site.

Motorika could not be reached for comments Monday afternoon.

The factory, which is expected to be operational next year, will employ about 250 people.

Motorika started producing ambulances in 1995 by customizing four-wheel drive Nivas.

Motorika currently markets its Niva ambulances for the Russian, CIS and Eastern European markets, and says they are in high demand in Moldova, Hungary and Bulgaria.

Officials at the Ethiopian Embassy were not available for comment.