General Motors is expanding is Eastern European operations by entering a potentially lucrative joint venture in Uzbekistan. Its Uzbek plant has potential to produce 250,000 cars per annum.

General Motors is hoping its expansion into wild territory (aka ‘developing markets’) will bear fruit in the mid-term, and hopefully outdo Toyota in the long-term. Uzbekistan is one of these potential gold mines, or could be in the next few years. The country currently has a growing car market of 70,500, which is roughly ten percent of South Africa’s market and a few million units behind the US with its 16 million-plus domestic market.

The joint venture between GM and UzAvtoSanoat aims to play the dominant role in the Uzbek motor industry in future, calling the JV General Motors Uzbekistan. GM chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner said "As a key element of our growth strategy, GM has moved aggressively in recent years to establish a leadership position in the world's fastest growing markets. We are confident that General Motors Uzbekistan will make a strong contribution to the growth and development of the Uzbek auto industry and economy. The joint venture will also support GM and Chevrolet’s continued growth in Central and Eastern Europe.”

The company’s Asaka plant, which has a 250,000 annual production capacity and is already assembling Epica, Tacuma and Captiva, could reach capacity in the mid-term should the country start exporting to its neighbouring states as is the eventual plan. No confirmation on whether new Camaro or even Corvette would be available here yet.

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