General Motors operations in Uzbekistan are unaffected by the company’s bankruptcy proceedings, Uzbek authorities insist, even though the local operation may be subject to a takeover.
GM Uzbekistan "does not plan to adjust its development programs in connection with GM’s bankruptcy," a source in the Uzbek government told Russian news agency Interfax on June 4. Investment is funded by the plant’s own resources and by loans from domestic banks, the source added.
However, Interfax also reports that automotive supplier Magna and Russia’s Sberbank, which are currently in talks to acquire GM’s European carmaker Opel, are interested in buying out GM’s share in its Russian and Uzbek operations.
Production at the Asaka plant near Andijan slumped by 13.9 percent in the first two months of 2009 compared to the same period last year, with some models reporting dives of up to 32.1 percent. GM owns a 25 percent equity stake in the Uzbek project. Uzavtosanoat holds the other 75 percent. President Islam Karimov and US Ambassador Richard Norland discussed the future of GM in Uzbekistan when they met on June 3, the news website Vesti.uz reported.
Meanwhile, there's been flareup of violence in Andijan recently.