MUNICH-Siemens VDO Automotive is acquiring 51 percent of automotive supplier AVTEL (Kuluga, Russia), a joint venture made up of the Russian companies Avtoelectronica and NPP ELCAR.

AVTEL, founded in 1999, produces a variety of automotive components, including engine controls, sensors and injectors. In 2005, the company, which employs about 300, recorded $45 million in sales.

"With our engagement in this joint venture, we will continue our strategy to increase our business in the Russian market," Says Reinhard Pinzer, group vice president of Siemens VDO Automotive. "Due to the high growth rates of the Russian automotive market, we see good prospects for suppliers."

"AVTEL has an excellent position with Russian car manufacturers and will broaden our customer base by supplying other European, U.S. and Asian OEMs," Says Dmitri Azarov, head of Siemens VDO Automotive, Russia. "The infrastructure in Kaluga enables us to extend the production facilities of AVTEL and to create new jobs in order to better serve our customers like Volkswagen AG, who is just building a new production plant nearby."