PARIS - Fiat Auto and General Motors have identified more than 20 future models that could be based on platforms shared by the two companies.
The partners have also outlined a plan to sharply reduce the number of engines and transmissions they offer in Europe and Latin America.
Details were given to financial analysts in Paris by Fiat Auto Managing Director Roberto Testore.
Testore said Fiat and GM have identified E200 million in purchasing savings for 2001 - but are still seeking another E150 million in savings.
GM and Fiat formed a global alliance in March. The alliance calls for equity exchanges and the formation of 50-50 powertrain and purchasing joint ventures.
GM took a 20 percent stake in Fiat Auto Holdings, which controls Fiat Group's car and light-commercial vehicle operations, except for Ferrari and Maserati.
The partners are concentrating first on purchasing and powertrain synergies. But they are also actively studying vehicle platform sharing.
According to the report to analysts, 'over 20 projects are under evaluation.'
Supplier sources said niche vehicles could be derived from GM's Delta platform - the basis of the next Astra. Fiat and GM are considering deriving coupes, cabriolets and spiders from the platform. According to the sources, Delta-based niche models would be sold by Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia, Opel and Saab with specific exterior and interior designs.
The new Spider that will lead Alfa Romeo's return to the USA in 2003 could come from the Delta platform, a supplier source said.
Fiat Auto is also considering using GM's Epsilon platform for its 2003 'New Large' project - a segment Fiat abandoned when it stopped making the Croma in 1996.
In Europe, the Epsilon platform will be used for the next generation Opel Vectra and Omega and future big Saabs.
Platform sharing on high-volume models may not occur until the second half of the decade. Fiat last year launched the second-generation Punto, based on the original Punto. Next year, Fiat will launch Bravo and Brava replacements based on its new C/D/H platform. Opel will use its Delta platform for the next Astra in 2004.
The combined number of engine families will be cut from 20 to 11, according to the analysts report.
Fiat brings eight families of gasoline engines to the powertrain joint venture. GM brings six. Within five years, only eight will be offered between the two.
The partners are contributing three diesel engine families each. By 2005 only three will be offered by the two companies together.
Fiat takes five gearboxes into the joint venture and GM brings seven. But only eight of the 12 will be offered in 2005.
By combining powertrain and purchasing operations, Fiat and GM Europe plan to save E500 million in 2001, E1.2 billion in 2003, and E2 billion by 2005.
Next year's E500 million in savings will include E350 million from joint purchasing - on a combined purchasing bill of E27 billion.
Savings from shared engines, transmissions and vehicle platforms will start in 2003. Of the projected E1.2 billion in savings that year about E700 million will come from joint purchasing. Powertrain and common platforms will each contribute about E150 million.
The GM-Fiat powertrain joint venture includes 20 plants and five engineering centers in Europe and Latin America. By year end, Fiat Auto will also put its powertrain activities in India, Turkey and Morocco in the joint venture.
In 2001, the joint venture is expected to build 4.8 million engines and gearboxes, generating E9 billion in revenue.
Fiat and GM have not publicly discussed which engines, gearboxes and platforms they will jointly use or develop. But in a presentation to financial analysts in March - the day after the agreement was signed - Fiat said four diesel engine families would survive. They are:
The 1.25-liter four-cylinder Fiat will build in Poland starting in 2002
The second generation Fiat 1.9-liter built in Pratola Serra, Italy
Opel's 2.2-liter four-cylinder
Isuzu's new V-6.