GM, Peugeot team up to decrease costs
PARIS - Agence France-Presse
Philippe Varin. AP photoU.S. auto giant General Motors and PSA Peugeot Citroen of France unveiled on Feb. 29 a global cooperation deal aimed at slashing costs for both and boosting their competitiveness in Europe.
The two said GM, the world’s largest automaker, would take a 7.0 percent stake in Peugeot, Europe’s number two after Volkswagen of Germany.
But their leaders stressed the limited aim of jointly saving on production costs rather than any more ambitious tie-up.
“This is an alliance, not a merger,” GM chairman and chief executive Dan Akerson said in a conference call.
PSA managing board chairman Philip Varin assured that the French auto maker “remains independent, very clearly, on its strategic plan and its capital.”
The deal’s impact on jobs and production capacity remained unclear. France’s Industry minister said he had been assured that the deal would be “favorable” for jobs.
But Varin said each of the two companies would have to deal with their production overcapacity, separately from the pact.
Under the agreement, a joint global committee steering the alliance is expected to generate some $2 billion in savings annually within about five years.
To do that GM, which controls money-losing European producers Opel and Vauxhall, and Peugeot will share certain vehicle platforms, components and modules.
But each will continue to “market and sell its vehicles independently and on a competitive basis,” they said in a joint statement.
GM and Peugeot will first work together on small and midsize passenger cars, family vans and crossover sport utility vehicles.
They expect to launch the first vehicle developed on a common platform -- shared essential designs and architecture like the underbody and suspension -- by 2016.