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General Motors has its hands in all corners of the globe, and while most consumers know about their operations in Europe and South Koreas, their arm in the former Soviet Republic of Uzbekistan is shaping up to be quite the powerhouse in the all-important Russian market.
Despite only being in existence since November, 2008 GM Uzbekistan’s operations are credited with a 40 percent rise in sales in the first half of 2010. With 45,217 Uzebkistani-made vehicles sold, GM ranked 10th overall in the Russia market. While GM produces mostly modern Daewood-engineered vehicles in Uzbekistan, consumers can also buy the Chevrolet Nexia (pictured above) based on the wretched Pontiac LeMans which originally debuted in 1986.
In one of the most bizarre stories we’ve ever seen at Autoguide, GM’s Chevrolet division revealed during a financial briefing that their share of the passenger car market is 98.6 percent in the former Soviet Republic of Uzbekistan.
You might recall that ex-Soviet strongmen were often famous for getting consistently re-elected with 99.9% of the population voting for them, but how does a car company (an American one at that) gain such a foothold in a country steeped in dire poverty and ethnic violence?
According to InsideLine, GM owns a 25 percent stake in the local auto factory, a partnership between Daewood and Uzbek automaker UzAvutoSanoat. Since GM owns Daewoo, the plant, which is capable of cranking out 250,000 cars per year, is producing the Matiz, Lacetti and Captiva (pictured) for the domestic market and export to other countries. We’re not sure how many vehicles can be sold in a country where roughly half the population lives on less than $1.25 a day, but we do know that owning a Captiva must be equivalent to rolling around in an Escalade.
[Source: Inside Line]