MONTREUX, Switzerland - General Motors and Fiat Auto plan a series of niche vehicles that could be on the market in two or three years.
Opel Chairman Robert Hendry said the new models would use current and future GM platforms and would be sold under both companies' brand names.
The vehicles initially would be based on small- and medium-sized car platforms and would be used to fill gaps in the product portfolios of the partners in Europe.
The new models would be added 'throughout the whole product range for both Fiat and us,' Hendry said.
Opel and Fiat each would target 'different customer groups' with the cars, he said.
Hendry would not specify the kinds of vehicles the partners are considering. Discussions are now in the 'compromise' stage, he said.
'We haven't made any decisions yet but we are close,' he said.
The niche vehicles being considered initially could be derived from the current Astra and the Corsa replacement due this autumn.
There are no plans to simply rebadge each other's existing models, a company insider said.
In the longer term, the partners could develop joint platforms, Hendry said, but the immediate need is for niche products.
'Most of what we see in the next four to five years is attacking these niche models that are already in the marketplace,' he said. In March, GM took a 20 percent stake in Fiat Auto. In return, Fiat Auto took 5.1 percent of GM. The companies plan to slash costs by combining purchasing, and engine and transmission production.