Fleet News

GM and Subaru explore avenues

AROUND 30 separate sub-committees have been established by General Motors and Subaru to look at opportunities which the two companies can exploit following the American manufacturer's acquisition of a 20% stake in its Japanese rival. Many opportunities are being discussed which are likely to extend to shared engines, platforms and transmissions and could lead to the two manufacturers rebadging each other's vehicles.

GM's stake in Subaru adds to its partnerships with Isuzu in which it has a 49% stake, and Suzuki, in which it has a 10% shareholding. In addition, the company has recently formed technology alliances with Toyota and Honda. It is understood that GM is particularly interested in utilising Subaru's 4x4 technology and CVT gearbox technology.

GM Europe president Mike Burns told Fleet NewsNet at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit: 'Subaru has excellent engineering capability but is a niche player selling 60,000-70,000 cars in Europe a year.' He said Subaru lacked both distribution outlets and a manufacturing base in Europe, which hinted that Subaru vehicles could be produced for Europe in either Opel or Vauxhall factories.

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