By Kamila Aliyeva
GM Uzbekistan is working on the issues of launching the assembly of its cars in two cities of Kyrgyzstan - Osh and Bishkek.
“We signed a memorandum with the Kyrgyz side on increasing sales of our cars, including through a potential assembly organization. This is one of the priority markets for us, as a new transport corridor Uzbekistan - Kyrgyzstan - China was recently opened. This route is interesting from the side that shortens the travel time for our components, and, naturally, the assembly of the car will be cheaper,” head of Uzavtosanoat Umidzhan Salimov said.
The company's working group had already visited Kyrgyzstan four times and inspected the sites proposed for assembly, he noted.
“Now we are studying the issue of the economic feasibility of the project. This is important, since one of the directions of the modern car industry is the priority on profitability; all that we do should be calculated in terms of revenue generation. Therefore, we conduct joint miscalculations with the Ministry of Economy of Kyrgyzstan,” Salimov explained.
GM Uzbekistan plans to establish an assembly of Nexia (R3) in Kyrgyzstan. The priority area for the location of production is Osh, not Bishkek.
“In Osh, the production site is much more economically feasible, since it is located right in the center of the transport hub, it's literally two hours by car from us. Bishkek is more difficult from the point of view of logistics. If the calculations show expediency, we will most likely choose Osh,” he added.
GM Uzbekistan, formerly known as UzDaewooAuto, was created in 1996 on a parity basis by Uzbekistan and South Korean Daewoo Motors.
In 2005, Uzbekistan acquired Daewoo's shares in UzDaewooAuto. Two years later Uzavtoprom (Uzbek Association of Automotive Industry Enterprises) and the U.S.-based General Motors signed an agreement to establish the GM Uzbekistan with an authorized capital of $266.7 million. GM had previously held a 25 percent stake in the joint venture. At the moment, only 10 percent belong to GM. Until the end of the year, the U.S. corporation will sell the remaining stake in the company.
In the coming years, the company intends to take a dominant role in the automobile market of Kazakhstan through an alliance with the Kazakh Allur Group of Companies JSC, and also to strengthen its position in the Russian market, including through the possible creation of an assembly plant near St. Petersburg.
To date, GM Uzbekistan manufactures eight models at its three production sites in Asaka, Khorezm and Tashkent under the Chevrolet and Ravon brands.
Kamila Aliyeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Kami_Aliyeva
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