PSA-GM joint vehicle programs will use French carmaker's platforms
BRUSSELS (Reuters) -- General Motors and alliance partner PSA/Peugeot-Citroen will build joint vehicle programs on the French automaker's platforms, the companies said today.
PSA CEO Philippe Varin and GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky presented more details of their cooperation plans at a press conference in Brussels. The automakers last year unveiled a broad-based partnership to share development costs and cut European losses.
Future small cars like the Opel Corsa and PSA equivalents - the Peugeot 208 and Citroen C3 - will be based on an architecture jointly developed from the French carmaker's existing technology, the companies said in a release.
Future replacements for the Opel Zafira minivan and Peugeot 3008 crossover will share the "EMP2" platform about to go into production in the form of Citroen's C4 Picasso minivan.
GM's engineering center in Ruesselsheim, Germany, will develop successors to the Peugeot 2008 crossover and Citroen C3 Picasso minivans.
The first vehicles from the shared development programs are due in 2016.
The alliance chose PSA underpinnings for the new cars because they were better suited to the European market, the automakers said. In the Opel Zafira category, Girsky added, "we didn't have enough volume to justify doing it on our own."
The automakers did not give any details of production locations or investment in the new models. "These products are coming to market in 2016 so it's premature to make any manufacturing decisions," Girsky said. "We'll deal with that when the time comes, somewhere down the line."
Girsky and Varin said today that the partnership should have no effects on jobs at their operations in Germany and France.
The carmakers also reiterated their alliance cost savings target of $2 billion annually by 2016 - also helped by combined logistics and a new joint purchasing organization to begin operating this year.
A component-supply agreement, which the companies said today has met antitrust conditions, will be a "cornerstone" of the alliance, Girsky said.
GM and PSA are looking at a possible fourth platform for fuel-efficient cars, and they're continuing to consider ways to expand cooperation to growing vehicle markets, such as South America and Russia, Varin said today.
GM, whose European division has racked up $17.3 billion in losses since 1999, said on Jan. 22 that it may close Opel's auto factory in Bochum, Germany, two years earlier than planned as the European auto market shrinks for a sixth straight year. The U.S. carmaker became PSA's second-largest shareholder in March 2012 with the purchase of a 7 percent stake for 320 million euros.
The first-half net loss at PSA in 2012 amounted to 819 million euros ($1.09 billion). The Paris-based company since then has announced plans to shutter its car plant in nearby Aulnay by 2014 and reduce its French automotive workforce by 17 percent.
Bloomberg contributed to this reportContact Automotive News