General Motors has signed a contract with South Korean freight forwarder Pantos Logistics for the transport of semi-knockdown (SKD) kits of Chevrolet models from the Gunsan plant on the west coast of Korea to its joint venture engine and assembly facility in the Uzbek capital Tashkent. The carmaker is moving kits of the Malibu and Captiva, as well as the Nexia, Cruze, Spark and Matiz.
The contract, subject to an annual bidding process, involves Pantos transferring the SKD kits from South Korea's Busan port via short sea ocean transfer to Vostochy in Russia where they are taken by rail to Sergely in Uzbekistan. The company will use its close links with both the Trans-Siberian Railway and the Trans-China Railroad to move the vehicles.
Shipments began in June and yearly volumes are expected to hit 5,000 FEUs.
The facility in Tashkent, set up with local partner UzAvtosanoat, opened last November for the production of powertrains and SKD assembly. GM has a 52% stake in the venture while UzAvtosanoat has the remaining 48% stake. SKD assembly was moved there to free up production capacity at GM’s joint venture car plant in Asaka.
As well as the domestic market, the facilities in Asaka and Tashkent supply vehicles to Russia and neighbouring CIS countries. Last year the Tashkent facility increased sales to Russia by more than 30% on 2010, reaching around 72,000 vehicles, according to the company, though it has seen an 8% drop in sales there in first half of this year.
The deal between GM and Pantos includes the transport of complete knockdowns (CKDs) between Tashkent from factories in Brazil, Mexico, the US and Canada, with shipments having already begun from the US. Further details were unavailable according to a spokesperson for Pantos Logistics.
GM Korea started moving SKD kits to Uzbekistan in 2004 in volumes of 1,000 a month.