VIENNA – GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co. signs a strategic cooperative agreement with Uzbekistan’s AOZT UzDaewooAvto that ultimately will lead to product upgrades and additional local content for the models built there.
GM Daewoo President Michael Grimaldi inks the deal following a meeting in Uzbekistan with Uzbek President Islam Karimov and Rustam Azimov, the country’s deputy prime minister and finance minister.
UzDaewooAvto, originally a 50/50 joint venture between the Uzbek government and the now-bankrupt Daewoo Motor Co. Ltd., has been 100% controlled by the government since 2005.
The auto maker produced a record 140,080 vehicles in 2006, up 38.7% from 2005. Some 82,500 cars were exported from the plant last year, including 67,000 to Russia. Plans call for production of some 170,000 units this year.
UzDaewooAvto’s production portfolio includes the Daewoo Matiz small car, Damas small van and Nexia sedan. In addition, the Daewoo Lacetti is assembled in small volumes.
“I’ve once again witnessed that the Uzbek car production industry is developing gradually, and Uzbekistan has vast potential in this sphere,” Grimaldi was quoted as saying in Uzbek media. “Our visit is aimed at further expansion of cooperation with UzDaewooAvto.”
The agreement calls for the modernization of the Matiz and Nexia built at the plant, including modifications aimed at meeting Euro 3 emissions regulations. The partners also are considering production of additional models.
GM Daewoo is to help train UzDaewooAvto’s workers. There also are plans to increase the local content of Uzbek-made Daewoo cars, which currently averages about 54%.