POLAND: Opel to build next-generation Astra at Gliwice plant - report
General Motors will upgrade its Polish factory to produce the next generation Astra II model, raising the plant's exports by about $US200 million a year to $600 million, a GM spokesman told Reuters on Tuesday.
Przemyslaw Byszewski told the news agency the carmaker would invest an unspecified amount within an "offset" investment package organised as part of Lockheed Martin's $3.5 billion sale of fighter planes to Poland's air force.
"Exports of the Astra II alone will be about $200 million a year, so together with the Agila (already in production) total exports will be around $600 million," Byszewski reportedly said.
According to Reuters, the government has said the Lockheed-backed package, which it discusses later today, will be worth $6-12 billion, but analysts say the use of "multipliers" to value investments in favoured sectors makes the headline figure meaningless.
Earlier on Tuesday Poland's foreign investment agency said total foreign investment in 2002 fell to $6.1 billion from $7.1 billion in 2001, Reuters said.
Since 1996 GM has invested about $800 million in Poland, in ventures including the Opel factory in the southern Polish town of Gliwice, Reuters noted.
The plant currently builds the subcompact Agila minivan which is sold across Europe with Opel and Vauxhall badges. The model was developed jointly with Suzuki which builds its Wagon R-based derivative at Magyar Suzuki in Hungary. The two similar looking models share a number of common components.