General Motors and its local joint venture partner UzAvtosanoat opened a new engine plant in Tashkent, 400 kilometers from the automakers’ vehicle manufacturing facility in Asaka. The facility, which covers 40 hectares, is GM’s first engine plant in Uzbekistan. It will produce more than 225,000 new Ecotec 1.2L and 1.5L engines for use in GM small passenger cars sold globally.
GM says the plant represents its most significant powertrain investment in Central Asia. The engine facility is the second manufacturing joint venture between GM and UzAvtosanoat. GM Uzbekistan, located in Asaka, was established in March 2008 by the two companies. GM holds a 25% stake in the joint venture, with the remaining 75% held by UzAvtosanoat. GM has a 52% stake in GM Powertrain Uzbekistan and its partner has a 48% stake.
The first engines produced at the plant starting this month will be installed in the Chevrolet Spark mini car that commands 94% share of the Uzbekistan domestic market and is exported to Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States.
The plant features a lean manufacturing footprint and has adopted GM’s global manufacturing processes and technology. It is one of only a few GM powertrain plants in the world with co-located assembly and foundry facilities and will be Central Asia’s only manufacturing plant capable of producing finished machined components such as cylinder heads, cylinder blocks and crankshafts.
GM has also employed advanced environmental-protection processes throughout the facility, including the most modern wastewater treatment technology in Uzbekistan with the purest discharge of any facility of its kind within GM. A final reverse osmosis treatment system ensures water leaving the plant will be as clean as drinking water, according to the company.
The Uzbekistan plant joins facilities in China and Korea as a producer of GM’s new Ecotec 1.2L and 1.5L engines. Both engines use a cast-iron block and aluminum head, with dual overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder. They are both Euro V emissions compliant.