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Uzbek Carmakers Produce a Millionth Car at Asaka Plant
28.11.2008 14:45
The automobile plant based in Asaka, Andijan Province in southeast Uzbekistan, became the first of its kind in Central Asia. The domestic car industry has been established on the initiative of President Islam Karimov, according to the report by national newspapers.

Since the early years of independence, among other most important tasks, Uzbekistan chose to establish its own car making industry, the analysts believe.

Damas, Tico and Nexia became as if the first swallows of the industry. Later the Uzbek carmakers began manufacturing Matiz and Lacetti, as well as renewed Damas and Nexia. For over the past twelve years the Asaka Car Plant has gone through several stages of development. Each of those stages has made possible for todays event to happen - the Chevrolet Lacetti, the notchback, became the millionth car that has so far been manufactured at the plant. The Asaka plant began an SKD production of this car in 2003.

Last year the Uzautosanot Joint-Stock Company, the main domestic car industry managing body, signed an agreement with General Motors Corporation on establishing a GM-Uzbekistan Joint-Venture in Uzbekistan. Such move allowed to manufacture new models of GM product portfolio.

Signing of the agreement on mastering a CKD production of Chevrolet Lacetti, otherwise known among professionals as J200, provided for a move onto a next stage CKD-type manufacturing, that is to say, full domestic-based production of a car rather than assembling based on spare parts imports from elsewhere.

The Uzbek carmaker the Asaka Automobile Plant has thus begun to manufacture body panels for J200, set up a welding shop as well as reconstructed an assembly line. Chevrolet Lacetti combines high technical parameters, modern design and latest quality of assembly, according to experts.

At the moment, the plant manufactures seven car models that can meet various consumer needs, the report also suggests.

In 2007 the plant produced 170,000 cars, but for over the 9 months of this year the Uzbek carmakers have already manufactured almost 140,000 automobiles.

Now the GM Uzbekistan employs over 5,000 people. They are the skilled workers, engineers, product designers, economists, constructors, fitters, service engineers, and riggers. Most of them went through training and have interned at foreign car plants.

The strategy of advancement predicated upon establishing equal and mutually beneficial relations with the leading companies is aimed at manufacturing competitive products at the level of world standards, Director General of GM Uzbekistan Shukhrat Yusupov is reported to have said while speaking at the ceremony of production of the millionth car at the plant.

According to the GM Europe Managing Director Jerald Johnson, production of a new model is a logical continuation of GM Uzbekistan line directed at product portfolio renewal, meeting concrete consumer needs and tastes, growth of a product quality, as much as introduction of modern technologies.

At the moment, three Chevrolet models are already being assembled at the Asaka Car Plant. They are Captiva, Epica and Tacuma. Now to this row a Chevrolet Lacetti is being added.

In the nearest years the Uzbek carmakers are going to master production of other models of Chevrolet global portfolio. This, in its turn, will allow to exploit maximum power capacity of the plant by taking the number of cars made locally up to a 250,000 per year.

Ikboljon Soliev for the Information Agency Jahon in English. Photo make-up by A. Abdugaffarov/IA Jahon

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