GM, PSA Peugeot Citroen Detail Global Strategic Alliance, but Questions Remain


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    GM Logo Picture

    General Motors and PSA Peugeot Citroen provided more details on their global strategic alliance on Thursday. | December 20, 2012

Just the Facts:
  • General Motors and PSA Peugeot Citroen have now confirmed three of the four joint European new car programs the companies announced last October.
  • But they have not yet given the go-ahead to an initiative that could see the replacements for the medium-sized Opel Insignia, Citroen C5 and Peugeot 508 produced from the same platform and in the same factory.
  • A PSA spokeswoman told Edmunds on Thursday that "working groups were still examining the business case," and that regardless of the outcome, the Citroen C5 "would be replaced."

PARIS — General Motors and PSA Peugeot Citroen have now confirmed three of the four joint European new car programs the companies announced last October.

But they have not yet given the go-ahead to an initiative that could see the replacements for the medium-sized Opel Insignia, Citroen C5 and Peugeot 508 produced from the same platform and in the same factory.

A PSA spokeswoman told Edmunds on Thursday that "working groups were still examining the business case," and that regardless of the outcome, the Citroen C5 "would be replaced."

She could not comment on plans for the replacement of the younger Peugeot 508. A General Motors Europe spokesman said that he believed that an agreement was likely to be concluded.

The projects that have received the go-ahead include a joint program to develop a new low-emissions city car platform for Europe and other regions, a joint project to produce a multipurpose van for Opel and a compact crossover for Peugeot, and another that will develop small MPVs for Opel and Citroen.

In addition, GM and PSA have freshly announced plans to jointly develop a new family of small four-cylinder gasoline engines using PSA's existing EB motor as a basis. The two companies also say that they are going to explore collaborative possibilities in South America.

The low-emissions small car project will provide Opel with a successor to the Agila city car previously co-developed with Suzuki, while Peugeot and Citroen will replace the 106 and C1 city cars that are near identical to the Toyota Aygo, spelling an eventual end to the collaboration with the Japanese manufacturer.

This deal is particularly attractive to GM, which has recently abandoned an attempt to derive a city car from the next-generation Corsa supermini platform because it was too big, heavy and expensive.

The compact multipurpose van program will develop a roomier, boxier and more utilitarian minivan to replace the Opel Combo and Peugeot Bipper, which are also sold as commercial vans.

Peugeot currently shares the Bipper with Fiat, which sells it as the Qubo, but this deal will end under the GM-PSA Alliance. Citroen will not offer a version of this van. But it will get a sleeker and better-equipped MPV to replace its C3 Picasso, while Opel will share this new platform to gain a new Meriva MPV, which is currently based on a mix of two platforms.

The GM-PSA Global Strategic Alliance plans to launch the first of these new jointly developed models by the end of 2016, which will, it says, be created by using the best platforms and technologies from each partner.

PSA is developing an all-new platform similar to Volkswagen's new modular MQB architecture, whose greater versatility will allow it to be used across models of a variety of sizes and a wider spread of segments. PSA says that each of the four projects will be led either by GM or the French company, but the allocation of responsibilities has yet to be determined.

Edmunds says: GM and PSA Peugeot Citroen are pressing ahead with their European plans despite the doubts voiced in some quarters, although the medium-car project may not make it as a collaborative venture.

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