NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

GM considers building new plant in East ( Europe)

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Automotive News Europe

July 11, 2007

UPDATED: 07/11/07 6:23 A.M.

by Jesse Synder

General Motors is considering building a new assembly plant in the East, a top company executive told Automotive News Europe.

"We still need some capacity in central and eastern Europe," Chris Lacey, GM's executive director for central and eastern Europe, said in a phone interview today.

Lacey identified seven new-EU countries as potential sites for a greenfield plant: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

All seven have joined the EU within the last three years.

"Where does GM want to build?" Lacey said. "Where people buy cars, where a good, educated work force is available, and where you have the ability to build up a parts supply chain. So any of these countries."

GM will either have sole ownership of the plant or form a partnership with a local manufacturer.

GM already has assembly plants in Poland and Russia and joint ventures or contract manufacturing agreements in Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. GM aims to build 70,000 units a year at its St. Petersburg plant by 2008, up from its original plan of 25,000 by that same year.

Lacey said GM needs the capacity to keep up with rapidly increasing sales in central and eastern Europe. In Lacey's region — the new EU, the Balkans, Russia and the republics of the former Soviet Union — GM boosted first-half sales volume 42 percent to 230,113 cars compared with the same period last year.

You may e-mail Jesse Snyder at jsnyder@craincom.de

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Hungary would be a good choice in my (slightly, ok, overly biased) opinion since its got an inexpensive and educated labour force. Plus they have experience in the sector from the Opel engine plant and Audi A3/TT and Gallardo's engine block plants that are already there.

Bulgaria might be inexpensive, but I think its too far away from the central park of central-eastern europe. One positive, beer is cheaper than gas LOL

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Where did GM make their forgettable CVT transmissions?

I believe the transmission was built by GM's Opel unit in Szentgotthard, Hungary. I think Saturn was going to use them.

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I believe the transmission was built by GM's Opel unit in Szentgotthard, Hungary. I think Saturn was going to use them.

you believe correct. They made those, Allsion transmissions and Ecotec 1.4L, 1.6L and 1.8L ebgines.

They also did assembly of Vectra & Astra from kits in the 90's

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Hungary would be a good choice in my (slightly, ok, overly biased) opinion since its got an inexpensive and educated labour force.

That's true for most of Eastern Europe.

Most of my relatives beck in Slovakia

are better educated than the typical

lawyer/doctor here in the USA and yet

they make $15-20 a year.

I hope Slovakia gets a GM plant, we

already have a KIA, Audi & VW plants

but GM would be way cooler.

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