Photo courtesy of General Motors.

Photo courtesy of General Motors.

General Motors will sell the Chevrolet Traverse mid-size SUV in Russia by the end of 2017, as the automaker looks to capitalize on Russian interest for utility vehicles.

Sales of utility vehicles have been steady despite the country’s recent economic distress, and U.S. vehicles’ overall favorable image there, said the automaker’s Russian subsidiary. Analysts in the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade predict GM Russia may sell between 1,000 and 1,200 units of the Traverse in its first year on the market.

The 2018 Traverse is powered by a new 3.6-liter V-6, and features a nine-speed automatic transmission. Safety features include surround vision, lane-keep assist, land departure warning, forward collision alert, and low-speed and high-speed forward automatic braking.

Chevrolet sales totaled 14,889 units through June, up 0.7% from the same period a year ago, according to the automaker.

GM was Russia’s second-biggest automaker by sales volume as recently as 2014, however, the country’s fiscal crisis prompted GM in 2015 to halt both manufacturing operations and sales of its former Opel brand. It continued selling some U.S.-built Chevrolet and Cadillac models.

The current range of Chevrolet models in Russia comprises of the Tahoe, Camaro and Corvette. GM Russia plans to expand its offerings beyond the Traverse as the country’s economy continues recovering.