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by Tim Beissmann

General Motors and French manufacturer PSA Peugeot Citroen have announced the details of a significant global alliance that will see the two automotive giants collaborate on four all-new vehicle platforms from the second half of the decade.

The announcement follows the official formation of the alliance on February 29, when GM became PSA’s second-largest shareholder (purchasing seven per cent of the company) in a partnership intended to save as much as US$2 billion ($1.93 billion) per year through platform and component sharing and other economies of scale.

The four shared vehicle platform projects include: an upgraded small car platform for Opel/Vauxhall and PSA’s next generation of vehicles for Europe and other regions, a new platform for mid-size cars for Opel/Vauxhall and for Peugeot/Citroen, a new platform for a mini MPV for Opel/Vauxhall and a baby SUV for Peugeot, and another new platform for a larger MPV for Opel/Vauxhall and Citroen.

As such, the platform sharing agreement is expected to give life to the next-generation versions of the Opel Corsa, Citroen C3 and Peugeot 208; the Opel Insignia, Citroen C5 and Peugeot 508; the Opel Meriva and Peugeot 4008; and the Opel Zafira and Citroen C4 Picasso.

The alliance plans to launch the first vehicles from these programs by the end of 2016. The two companies confirmed all four projects would be developed combining the best platform architectures and technology from both sides of the partnership.

Both partners confirmed the above programs should make the previously stated synergy target of US$2 billion per year achievable by 2017.

This year has proved particularly challenging for both European manufacturers who are struggling to reverse a disturbing trend of financial loses, declining sales and shrinking workforces.

GM’s European operations has now lost in excess of US$16.4 billion ($15.9 billion) since 1999, and the business is currently under the control of its fourth new CEO in less than three years.

Meanwhile PSA announced a restructuring plan in July that will see 8000 jobs disappear from the company as it attempts to turn around its troubling financial situation and streamline its production processes.




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