Scope of joint projects reduced

GM to sell PSA stake

Scope of joint projects reduced

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General Motors said today that it is selling its entire stake in PSA/Peugeot-Citroen while scaling back efforts to jointly develop vehicles with the French automaker.

GM said it will sell its 7 percent stake, or 24.8 million shares, through a private placement to institutional investors. GM acquired the shares in February 2012 for about $400 million as part of a budding alliance with the French company.

“Our equity stake was planned to support PSA in their efforts to raise capital at the time of the creation of the GM and PSA alliance, and that support is no longer needed,” GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky said in a statement.

“The alliance remains strong with our focus on joint vehicle programs, cross manufacturing, purchasing, and logistics,” Girsky said. “We’re making good progress while remaining open to new opportunities.”

GM said today it has further scaled back the scope of the alliance, abandoning plans to co-develop a common platform for subcompact cars and a small, three-cylinder engine.

GM now expects the alliance, which includes a joint purchasing arrangement, to result in $1.2 billion in cost savings annually by 2018, down from an original projection of $2 billion. The savings will be split roughly evenly between the partners, the companies said.

GM's German unit, Opel, also said today that PSA will build a C-CUV (compact crossover utility vehicle) for the automakers at its factory in Sochaux, France. Opel gave no details of the model but reports said it will be the successor to the Opel/Vauxhall Zafira Tourer minivan.

Plans to build the new Opel/Vauxhall Meriva and Citroen C3 Picasso small minivans together at Opel’s plant in Zaragoza, Spain, announced earlier this year, will also go ahead, the companies said.

Separately, Opel today announced it would build a new model at its Ruesselsheim factory but declined to provide further details on the vehicle for competition reasons.

Today's announcement on ending cooperation on subcompact models comes after PSA said in October that the partners were scaling back a wide-ranging alliance announced in February 2012, with GM likely pulling out of a program to build its next-generation Corsa subcompact on a shared PSA platform.

The Corsa replacement, due in late 2018, was to have shared a new PSA-designed platform designated EMP1 with the next-generation Peugeot 208 and Citroen C3.

Now, it appears the redesigned 2018 Corsa will be built on a version of GM's own small-car platform, dubbed Global Gamma or G2XX, supplier sources said.

A significantly revamped Corsa, which is still based on an old Fiat platform, is due to be introduced in Europe late next year.

Reuters contributed to this report

You can reach Mike Colias at mcolias@crain.com.

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