• Jul 17, 2007
In an effort to further GM's plan of becoming one of the dominant automakers offering diesel-powered vehicles, the company announced plans to purchase a 50-percent stake in VM Motori S.p.A., an Italian diesel engine manufacturer owned by Penske.
The deal comes hot on the heels of Bob Lutz's comments last week about the expansion of GM's diesel lineup, allowing the company to grow its oil-burning offerings in expanding markets in China and India, while gaining a stronger foothold on the diesel market in Europe.

Look for the ink to dry sometime later this year.

GM's press release is posted after the jump.

[Source: General Motors]

PRESS RELEASE

GM Will Buy 50 Percent Equity Interest in VM Motori

Investment builds on GM's commitment to diesel engine technology

DETROIT – General Motors Corp. announced today it has reached a joint venture agreement with Penske Corporation to purchase 50-percent equity of VM Motori S.p.A, a designer and manufacturer of diesel engines based in Cento, Italy.

This investment builds on GM's existing relationship with VM Motori, GM's diesel expertise worldwide, and its strong relationship with Isuzu.

"Diesel engines have a very important role in GM's global advanced propulsion strategy," said Tom Stephens, group vice president, GM Global Powertrain and Quality. "We are leveraging expertise and resources within our company and through technology partners to ensure we develop the world's best powertrains."

GM announced at the Geneva Motor Show that it will jointly develop a new 2.9-liter V-6 turbo diesel engine with VM Motori that is scheduled to launch in the Cadillac CTS in Europe in 2009. GM Powertrain Europe will focus on the development of the first industry application of a clean combustion process called closed-loop combustion control, electronic engine control and exhaust-gas aftertreatment, as well as calibration and integration into GM vehicles. VM Motori plans to build the new unit at its plant in Cento, Italy, and is responsible for the mechanical aspects of the engine's design, development and testing.

Penske Corporation, based in Bloomfield, Mich., is a transportation services company that encompasses retail automotive sales and services, truck leasing, supply chain logistics management, transportation components manufacturing, and high-performance racing.

VM Motori, founded in 1947, specializes in engine design and production for a variety of uses, including light commercial vehicles.

GM currently offers 17 diesel engine variants in 45 vehicle lines around the world. GM sells more than one million diesel engines annually, with products that offer a range of choices from the 1.3L four-cylinder diesel engine sold in the Opel Agila and Corsa, up to the 6.6L V-8 Duramax diesel sold in full-size vans, heavy duty pickups and medium duty trucks in the U.S.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      "ClutchCargo @ Jul 17th 2007 2:22PM
      I'd buy a diesel. I just don't want a VW. To many problems with them. Horrible local dealers."

      As for too many problems from previous diesel motors & having to deal with dirty fuel.
      2008 jetta & rabbit will get a all new 2.0L TDi /crd motor.
      http://www.autoblog.com/2007/01/04/vw-unveils-next-gen-tdi-engine/
      All new problems or lack of problems. New low sulfer fuel to help keep motors more reliable. So only time will tell if the new technology & cleaner fuel = more reliable motors.
      As for dealerships. Not much to say but I'm sorry.
      • 7 Years Ago
      @Kumar: The smaller 2.0l I4 VM engines are sold in various Chevrolets here in Europe since last summer. They are available with 121 and 150hp and are absolutely an par to the Diesels offered by Volkswagen, Peugeot or Renault.

      You should stop thinking VM only makes heavy duty Diesel engines, they offer car engines as small as 1.5l with 3 cylinders and 82hp.
        • 7 Years Ago
        mattias, the chevrolet powered by diesel engines use the 2.0 litre 16v 120-150 cv but this engine is a fiat engine, the same mounted in the saab 9.3 and many opel in europe, none in common with the vm engines
        • 7 Years Ago
        The Saab uses a Fiat sourced engine. Chevrolet uses the VM RA420 series:

        "Per Captiva sarà disponibile il nuovo, tecnologicamente avanzato, propulsore diesel common-rail Chevrolet sviluppato da GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Company, GM Powertrain e VM Motori."

        http://www.newstreet.it/articolo_id_1031.html

      • 7 Years Ago
      When did DCX sell off it's shares of VM? As far as I can research DCX owns 49% and penske 51%. According to WSJ GM is buying 50% of penske shares. So the new outlook would be 49% DCX, 25.5% GM, & 25.5% penske.
      I'm not sure what's going to happen to DCX shares when daimler seperates from chrysler. Haven't seen any news articles.

      As for Jeep liberty crd / TD & the VM 2.8Lcrd for the US market. They decided it because they realize after testing / using the VM 2.5L TD & VM 2.8L in Europe that to be sold in US market (just for a test market of 2 years) the vehicle needed to be automatic (power sucking) to sell in large numbers and the vehicle to have ok 0-60 times. Plus the 2.5L in europe was being dropped too during the time US market was getting the 2.8Lcrd. Plus it takes alot of money to get a motor epa certified. Each motor needed to have it's certification. http://www.trucktrend.com/roadtests/suv/163_0506_suv_fuel_economy/epa_mileage.html
      VM 2.5L was used in the european cherokee crd 1994-2005 + manual transmission & 2004-present 2.8L crd with automatic. UK mpg 2.5Lcrd manual trans = 24 city, 38 highway. 2.8Lcrd automatic = 22 city and 34 highway.
      Jeep liberty 2.8Lcrd in US gal.= 19 city 23highway.
      http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/bymodel/2006_Jeep_Liberty.shtml So you have to ask yourself when looking at UK mpg. Would you gain alot of mpg from a 2.5Lcrd manual trans over what they decided when converted to US mpg specs?
      • 7 Years Ago
      "alex @ Jul 17th 2007 11:54AM
      "How come we never get small displacement diesels from the big3?"
      because no one wants to buy diesels here. case in point: VW."
      My answer: http://www.autoblog.com/2006/05/10/volkswagen-diesel-model-sales-rising-with-gas-prices/
      Yes they do sell well.
      • 7 Years Ago
      As usual the American market looses again. How come we never get small displacement diesels from the big3? And before anyone says because of emission standards, I call BS cause there's urea injection and soot burn-off filters. Fact is VW was able to pass them and GM already sells pickups with 6.6l diesels.
      So many platforms could benefit from small diesels, midsized pickups with 2.0l engined produce as much torque then big V6 or small V8. And some people actually need pickups but can't afford the bill at the pump, imagine you're an owner of a company and all your profit is going to ExxonMobil.
      Just sayin, why is it good enough for others but not for us?
        • 7 Years Ago
        "How come we never get small displacement diesels from the big3?"

        because no one wants to buy diesels here. case in point: VW.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'd buy a diesel. I just don't want a VW. To many problems with them. Horrible local dealers.