MAASTRICHT, The Netherlands - General Motors and Fiat Auto vehicles will begin sharing engines and transmissions in early 2002, said General Motors Europe President Michael Burns.
Burns said the first signs of technology sharing between the two partners would be Fiat turbodiesels in Opel and Vauxhall models, and GM gasoline egines in Fiats.
'Demand for diesels in Europe is growing faster than anyone expected,' said Burns, speaking at the launch of the new Opel/Vauxhall Corsa here. 'If you asked me two years ago whether diesels would gain 40 percent of the European market, I would have said no. Now I think this level could even be exceeded.'
Burns said interaction between GM and Fiat is developing 'at a good speed.'
'Our working relations are very good and we are aggressive in looking for possible areas of synergy,' he said.
Burns would not comment on the platform sharing strategy. He even refused to use the phrase.
'I would prefer to talk about common platform architecture,' he said. 'The only thing I can say is the [next generation] Corsa and Fiat Punto won't be the first [to have common platform architecture]. There will be other interactions.'