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UZBEKISTAN: AFTER A YEAR OF UNCERTAINTY

The bankruptcy of the Daewoo company prompted the Uzbek auto industry to seek new ways of development.

Elena WARSAW

A year ago, having visited the republic, correspondents of ZR spoke about the prospects of UzDaewauto: putting on the conveyor a new model - Matiz, preparation for the production of Nexia-2 ​​(ZR, 1999, No. 6). Plans, hopes were great. And when six months later, rumors spread: the plant was on the verge of stopping, deliveries from Korea were stopped, I did not want to believe in it. But it was hard not to believe: it was already known about the situation on the "big" Daewoo, about the upcoming sale of this colossus, which until recently seemed to be firmly on its feet …

ON Clay Feet

For the Uzbeks, as it turned out, the shakiness of the apparent well-being of the partner was obvious for a long time. The Daewoo policy was initially in doubt. It seemed that someone deliberately deprives the company of stability. Huge loans from foreign banks (today the South Korean giant owes about $ 56 billion, mostly to foreign banks!). Ill-conceived globalization, in which several Daewoo subsidiaries were forced to push in one market at a time, competing with each other. Incredibly overgrown managerial staff, not making decisions. The main miscalculation of the Daewoo Group was an attempt to expand into the markets of Western countries and America. Cheap Korean cars with incredible warranty periods and ultra-favorable terms of sale could be a real threat to auto giants. The fate of the South Korean industrial giant was a foregone conclusion.

But although they were armed with knowledge of the situation in Uzbekistan, difficulties could not be avoided. Projects produced by Matiz and Nexia 2 were frozen indefinitely. The future of the Asaka plant is in jeopardy.

FROM A BANK OFF “SHEEP” …

Probably, no one would have been surprised if UzDaewooavto ceased to not only work, but also to exist: since such a giant, Daewoo, went bankrupt … They thought differently in Uzbekistan.

“We understood, ” says Kudrat Parpiev, Minister of the Uzbek auto industry, “that we will have to rely only on ourselves.” And this was not only a minus.

The main plus - hands are free to search for partners in the production of components. The goal of Daewoo is to tie the joint venture to itself, to put supplies on the needle. Therefore, component prices were high, and Koreans were reluctant to give permission to build new enterprises in Uzbekistan. Now factories have been attracted to localization, cooperation with which is beneficial to Uzbekistan, and not Korea.

UzDaewooauto began to conclude agreements directly with Daewoo suppliers - cheaper than through the intermediary of the parent company. We have opened a representative office in Seoul and are organizing the procurement of components for the plant and spare parts for maintenance. The issue of cooperation with East European enterprises, including those belonging to the Daewoo Group, is being discussed. The products of UzDaewooauto (the only automobile plant in the vast territory of Central Asia and Siberia!) Are popular outside the Urals, and soon Uzbek cars will begin to be sold in the northwestern regions of China. Representatives of well-known companies frequented the Central Asian republic. Suddenly it turned out: the Uzbek auto industry is interesting to many!

Apparently, realizing that it was possible to lose more, Daewoo resumed deliveries and decided to reanimate the Matiz assembly project. Since the spring of 2000, the Asaka plant has been operating smoothly, and financing for the new model is about to begin. Those who expect to buy this car will have to wait

2001th. It's a shame that a whole year has been lost, it is a pity that Nexia-2, so desired for the Russian market, is postponed for an indefinite period. But it could (and should have been!) Be worse.

CARAVAN IS GOING

Events of the end of the past - the beginning

this year la showed: auto

Uzbekistan’s mobile industry has ceased to be an appendage of the South Korean plant, has gained independence.

The construction of new supplier enterprises confirms this. In Khanabad (Andijan region), the Andizhankabel plant will soon begin assembling electric harnesses - they are starting to install equipment. In the future, the wires themselves will also make here: there is copper in the republic, it remains to master the production of plastic for insulation.

Recently, in Fergana, a modern production of rims has opened at a mechanical plant. This enterprise with purely Uzbek capital, equipped with the latest technology equipment from Italy, Germany, Japan, is designed to produce 1, 500 thousand disks per year. He is able to provide not only a car factory in Asaka, but also a secondary market. Here we are ready to organize deliveries to Russia.

A large-scale glass project has begun. He is interested in a new approach to business: a full production cycle from raw materials to the final product. Glass in the world rises in price, it has become scarce, so in Uzbekistan they immediately decided to avoid dependence on suppliers of float glass (raw). Together with Germany, they are starting to build an enrichment plant on a sand quarry in Chirchik (near Tashkent). A deep modernization of the flat glass line has been launched at JSC Quartz in the Ferghana Region under a project with the Italian company Tekint. Soon, the republic will be able to completely abandon imports and even sell flat glass to neighboring countries. And the former factory of reinforced concrete structures gave its areas under the joint venture AvtoOyna (Autoglass), where annually they will produce 200 thousand sets of car windows for UzDaewooavto, SamKochavto and agricultural equipment factories (they are also being built now). In 2002, glass factories will go into operation.

There is an oil refinery in Bukhara (built jointly with the French). The previous gasoline suffering (the first years at the UzDaewoo Auto, it happened, even the “72nd” gasoline was poured into new cars!) In Uzbekistan is remembered as a matter of days gone by.

Until 2005, the republic plans to build 32 industry enterprises, investing $ 800 million.

… The Minister of Automotive Industry of Uzbekistan, Kudrat Parpiev, told how he had the same nightmare at night before launching his first-born UzDaewauto plant. It is as if it takes off above the finished products area, laden with cars, and the higher it rises, the boundless below is the space filled with unsold cars.

What Parpiev was afraid of did not happen - the market accepted Uzbek cars. And even if over time, the middle part of the name “UzDeawauto” changes or simply falls out, enterprises in Uzbekistan will produce products.

Discs for the Daewoo are from Uzbekistan.