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The organizing committee of the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games has invited
The organizing committee of the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games has invited domestic auto makers GAZ and AvtoVAZ to bid for the status of the Winter Olympics general partner, a business paper reported on Monday.

Similar invitations have also been sent to foreign car giants Toyota, Volvo and Volkswagen, Vedomosti said, referring to a source close to the organizing committee.

According to Vedomosti, the Sochi 2014 organizing committee has set up a working group to provide participants and guests of the Olympic Games with transport. The group comprises representatives of at least six auto companies wishing to become Olympics partners in the "vehicles" category, including GAZ and AvtoVAZ.

Volkswagen is interested in Olympic projects but said it was premature to discuss the details of any possible cooperation, Vedomosti said, referring to the company's spokesman, Andrei Gordasevich.

AvtoVAZ has received a letter from the organizing committee with a proposal to bid for partner status but has not yet made a decision, the paper said.

GAZ would like to be a partner of the Sochi Olympics, Yelena Matveyeva, the company's spokeswoman told the paper: "The auto concern produces all types of vehicles needed by the organizing committee. By the time of the Olympics, the company will have launched a number of primarily new models."

Toyota and Volvo have received an invitation for the tender but have not given an official response yet, the paper said.

However, sponsorship of the Olympic Games is not expected to be cheap, the paper said.

According to Dmitry Chernyshenko, the head of the Sochi Olympics organizing committee, a general partner will be expected to pay an estimated minimum of $100 million, with part of that sum to be provided in cash and the other with services and products.

In particular, the general partner in the "vehicles" category will have to supply the organizing committee with about 1,000 vehicles for the period of the Olympic Games and about 3,000 vehicles until 2016 under a contract with the national team for the next Olympics. Vehicles must include several categories identified by the organizing committee, the paper said.

Most likely, the Sochi Olympics organizers will choose several auto partners as few auto companies can boast vehicles of all the categories likely to be required by the organizers, the paper said.


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