Serial production of vans began this week at the Uz-Daewoo automobile plant in Assak, Uzbekistan, a parity joint venture in which South Korea’s Daewoo company has invested $200 million. The plant, with an annual capacity of 200,000 vehicles, is licensed to produce two models of Daewoo passenger cars and a Daewoo family van model. Some 80 percent of the components are currently being supplied directly from South Korea, but the share of components produced in Uzbekistan is due to grow to 70 percent by the year 2000. The venture plans to market the vehicles in CIS countries in the expectation that the quality, fuel-effectiveness, and pricing of Daewoo’s models will prove more attractive than the cars made in those countries. (Interfax, March 25).
Uz-Daewoo looks set to massively cut into the Russian automobile industry’s market share in CIS countries, at least in Central Asia. German and Italian automobile manufacturers have also launched car and truck assembly joint ventures in Uzbekistan.
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