Isuzu to build Poland diesel engine plant in 1999

Truck maker Isuzu Motors Ltd. announced Jan. 23 that it will build a plant in Poland to produce and sell diesel engines for passenger cars starting in summer 1999.The firm plans to invest some 26 billion yen in Isuzu Poland Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary to be established in March in Tychy City, Katowice Province, 300 km south of Warsaw. Isuzu will become the first Japanese automaker to invest in Poland, and the project represents the largest investment yet by a Japanese firm, according to Isuzu.The company aims to produce 200,000 diesel engines in 1999 and increase the volume to 300,000 units in 2000. The engines will be supplied mainly to the General Motors Group, which owns 37.5 percent of Isuzu shares, with the remaining engines likely to be bound for Japanese auto plants in Europe, officials of the firm said. Isuzu President Kazuhira Seki said the firm chose Poland because of Eastern Europe’s great market potential, the relatively low cost of labor and its geographical advantages.