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November 07, 2007

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GM and UkrAVTO begin Chevrolet production in Poland

Warsaw - The first Chevrolet built in the European Union rolled off the assembly line of the FSO (Fabryka Samochodów Osobowych) plant in Warsaw, Poland, today. The small four-door Aveo sedan will be joined by two new hatchback variants in summer 2008. As production increases to approximately 60,000 next year and 100,000 in 2009, the Aveo made-in-Poland will help meet strong demand across Europe. With sales up 32 percent compared to a year ago, Chevrolet is the fastest growing volume brand in Europe.

“The Aveo is already our European best-seller with over 79,000 registrations so far this year“, said Wayne Brannon, Executive Director of Chevrolet Europe. “We are proud to now build Chevrolet vehicles in the European Union for European customers. Production of the Aveo in Poland will increase Chevrolet’s global build capacity and allow us to satisfy growing regional demand and shorten delivery times.”

The Warsaw FSO facility in which the Chevrolet Aveo will be built is owned and managed by General Motors’ long-standing Ukrainian partner, UkrAVTO. General Motors and UkrAVTO announced today their intention to establish a manufacturing joint venture at the plant. Under the agreement, which will be finalized in the coming months, 60 percent of the joint venture shares will be held by UkrAVTO Corporation with 40 percent in the hands of General Motors’ South Korean unit, GM Daewoo.

UkrAVTO already manufactures and distributes Chevrolet vehicles in Ukraine, where the brand has a market share of more than 8 percent. GM and UkrAVTO will work together to ensure the highest standards of quality. According to Eric Stevens, GM Europe’s Vice President of manufacturing, “our strong relationship with UkrAVTO to date and General Motors’ own track record of producing cars in Poland gives us the confidence to take this important next step. Our experience since 1998 at the Gliwice plant in Southern Poland has been extremely positive. We are confident the workforce in Warsaw will deliver vehicles of the same world-class performance and quality.”

Tariel Vasadze, President of UkrAVTO, said: “The start of production of a new model line is a major event for UkrAVTO. The confidence that the Polish government and our Polish employees have been placing on us, proved to be justified. We did invest as we committed, and now we are ready for new challenges. We are happy to enter a new phase in the history of FSO together with our long-standing partner, world’s largest automaker GM. We have reached a new level of cooperation, and we will successfully continue our fruitful partnership.”

FSO President and CEO Janusz Wozniak added: “The start of the Chevrolet Aveo production marks a new era at FSO. We are proud of our well qualified, reliable and professional staff. With a best-selling product of a leading global brand, new equipment in the plant and the benefit of thousands of hours of training, we are confident that we will be able to satisfy Chevrolet’s European customers.”

Chevrolet has a long tradition of building cars in Poland. The first Chevrolet models were built in a plant in Warsaw’s Wolska Street as early as 1928 with a second plant starting production in the suburb of Wola in 1937. At that time, Polish workers were trained at General Motors International A/S in Copenhagen. Among the four-door Chevrolet models produced in Wola were the Master Sedan, Master De Luxe, Master Touring Sedan and Imperial Limousine.

Photo: GM

(November 6, 2007)

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