Hyundai Motor Co., the world's sixth-largest automaker, said Friday it is in talks with the Uzbekistan government to buy state-owned UZ-Daewoo Motors, formerly owned by South Korea's now-defunct Daewoo Group.
``Nothing has been decided,'' said a Hyundai Motor spokesman, Jake Jang. ``The talks between the two parties are under way.''
Hyundai, which is pursuing an aggressive global expansion, already has factories in China, India, Turkey, the United States and plans one in the Czech Republic.
Jang said the Uzbekistan plant, which began operating in 1996 in the eastern part of the country, has production capacity of 200,000 vehicles a year. It currently assembles cars based on kits supplied by GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co., the South Korean unit of General Motors Corp.
Detroit-based GM created GM Daewoo in 2002 after acquiring a majority stake in defunct Daewoo Motor Co., which was declared bankrupt in 2000 after years of reckless expansion on borrowed money.
Moon Kum-ji, a spokeswoman for GM Daewoo, said the company supplies the assembly kits to the Uzbekistan plant, but sold its interest in the venture when General Motors acquired Daewoo Motor.
Hyundai wants to use the factory to help it further penetrate markets in Russia and other former Soviet republics, Jang said.