GM and PSA Peugeot Citroen planning new low emission vehicles

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Sign that reads “Low Emission Zone.”

The GM/Peugeot partnership is going to be all about low emission vehicles. (Photo Credit: CC BY-SA/Unisouth/Wikipedia)

Shared parts purchasing is sure to save General Motors and PSA Peugeot Citroen money as their partnership moves forward. But as Automotive News points out, neither member of the partnership has defined how it will cut costs of new model development.

Many details of partnership still unknown

Reports indicate that GM already had a plan in place to cut back its number of global vehicle platforms from 30 in 2010 to 14 by 2018. How the automaker will team with Peugeot to align model offerings and still save money is currently unclear. Not only that, PSA Peugeot Citroen brings a great deal of small-car diesel know-how to the table, something GM already had in its South Korea small-car development center. The future status of GM’s Korean developer is also unknown.

Hybrid technology and other forms of low emission vehicles are also on the table for GM and Peugeot. It is known that the partnership plans to debut a new line of such vehicles in 2016, but the automotive press has received no word regarding the specifications of such vehicles or to what segment of the green transportation field they will belong.

“We look at sharing common platforms,” said GM CEO Dan Akerson. “We’re better in certain segments than they are. They want to move into those segments. They’re better in smaller cars and maybe diesels than we are.”

Platform speculation

Automotive News reports that there has been speculation as to which vehicles will share the General Motors and PSA Peugeot Citroen platform. The Chevrolet Spark, Opel Corsa and other small GM models from South Korea are considered likely culprits, as are the Peugeot 208 and Citroen C3. The 208 will go on sale next month, and the Corsa will appear in 2014. Both vehicles are expected to remain in the rotation until at least 2018, but not past 2020.

Making room for the minicar

According to senior analyst Max Warburton of London’s Bernstein Research, General Motors Korea is currently at work on the next-generation B-segment minicar, although the responsibility may shift to PSA Peugeot Citroen due to more stringent European emissions requirements. By 2020, the European Union plans to institute a 60.9 mpg fleet fuel economy standard that the Korean plant may not be equipped to match.

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Low emission vehicle technology

New battery power technology to extend vehicle range is needed to remain on top of the low emission vehicle market, and new standards are expected to be in place by 2016. GM and Peugeot both have the capability to meet the needs of the fast-developing market – GM’s Chevrolet Volt is a plug-in hybrid, while Peugeot’s 3008 Hybrid4 combines diesel and electronic technology – but it is unknown whether one side of the partnership will take the development lead.

Mid-sized and more

PSA Peugeot Citroen will help out in the mid-sized car department, with development of the Citroen C5 expected to come to fruition by 2015. GM is re-engineering its Epsilon platform, making longer, wider versions in the mid-sized 2013 Malibu and the full-sized 2013 Cadillac XTS, the latter of which hits dealers in May 2012. B- and D-segment sedans, crossovers and SUVs are also under consideration.

Euronews on GM/Peugeot savings alliance


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