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GM to raise production in Uzbekistan

A press conference was held to officially present the General Motors Uzbekistan joint venture on 20 March. The company was set up in October 2007 in partnership between UzAvtoSanoat state-owned company and the General Motors.

GM Uzbekistan JV has been set up to manufacture and sell Chevrolet automobiles in Uzbekistan on the base of the UzDaewooAuto. According to the organizers of the press conference, this new company is given a significant role in further development of the car building industry of Uzbekistan fast global growth of the largest brand GM-Chevrolet. During the press conference it was stated that UzAutoSanoat JSC will have the controlling stock in the new JV, and GM Corporation’s stake currently constitutes 25% plus one share with the possibility of further increase of the share in the future.

“The key element of the GM Corporation’s growth strategy in the past several years has been rapid promotion of its products in the fastest developing markets of the world with the aim of achieving the leading positions in them,” the Chairman and Executive Director of the GM Corporation Rick Wagoner said. “We are confident that General Motors Uzbekistan will contribute substantially to the development of the automobile industry and the overall economy of Uzbekistan. Along with this, the joint venture will assist GM in further promotion and stable growth of the Chevrolet brand in Central and Eastern Europe,” he added.

The Chairman of the Board of the UzAutoSanoat Ulugbek Rozukulov, Vice President of the UzAutoSanoat JSC, the Director of the plant in Asaka Shuhrat Yusupov also took part in the briefing. Opening the conference, Rozukulov said: “For us, the fact that our joint venture is the first new member of the GM family in the year when the corporation celebrates its 100th anniversary is symbolic. We hope that the partnership with the GM will bring our industry some modern technology, and create the conditions for enhancement of the staff’s qualifications, creation of new joints and diversification of the consumer choice. Moreover, the joint venture will make it possible to launch the production of highest quality products that correspond to the international standards.”

The General Motors Uzbekistan JV will manufacture Chevrolet cars and SUVs, that will be distributed both through internal dealership network consisting of over 60 dealer companies. The JV’s plant in Asaka (Andijan region, Uzbekistan) already assembles three of the Chevrolet’s models Captiva, Epica and Tacuma. As soon as this year the product range will be expanded further by the new Chevrolet Lacetti model. Gerald Johnson said the plant had a huge potential. He emphasized, that at this point it was very important to integrate the latest technology and use the production capacity and the equipment that the plant already has to the maximum. “We will build up the plant’s production capacity and make additional investments for this purpose,” he said. “In the future we also plan to raise the production level to 250,000 automobiles yearly. The experts are currently doing all the evaluations.”

It is also planned to launch the production of other models from the Chevrolet’s global portfolio within the next few years. The new models will be exported to the markets of the CIS market. “We plan to expand to the model range at the Uzbek plant,” Sergio Roka said. “Our plans are to integrate the whole global model range, including those that are currently being designed and developed and which no one nowhere has started manufacturing yet. Two such models are to be produced in Uzbekistan.” Roka also informed the press that as soon as this year series production of Lacettis would be set up in Uzbekistan. A major portion of these will be sold to the domestic market, and the remaining portion will be exported to certain countries of the CIS. Captiva, Epica and Tacuma can already be seen in the streets of Uzbekistan.

“The demand for Chevrolet models is growing throughout the world,” Eric Stevens said. “In particular in 2007 the sales grew by around 50% in Russia thus making this brand the most popular brand in the market. The corporation also has production bases in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Poland. One of the tasks for now is to use the global platform to increase the sales of Uzbek automobiles, which will open additional opportunities for the economy of this country.” (Trading Markets)