Opel will develop PSA’s 4-cylinder engines for Europe, China, N.A.

PARIS — PSA Group’s next generation of four-cylinder gasoline engines will be developed at Opel’s engineering center in Ruesselsheim, Germany, as part of PSA’s plans to create synergies following its purchase of Opel from General Motors last year.

The engines will be optimized for electrification and will be used in hybrid drivetrains in all PSA brands starting in 2022. They will be homologated for use in Europe, China and North America — a market that PSA is re-entering in stages with the goal of selling vehicles there by 2026.

The Ruesselsheim center, as a former General Motors site, also has responsibility for federalizing PSA vehicles for sale in the U.S.

Opel engineering chief Christian Mueller said in a news release that the decision allows the center to exploit one of its key competencies built up when it had global responsibility for engine development under GM.

Mueller said that the new responsibilities would help ensure the future of the technical center, noting that 50 percent of its workload had been development work for GM.

LCV development

In addition to the new engines, Ruesselsheim will take over development of light-commercial vehicles for global markets, Opel said. Technological priorities include connectivity, electrification and automated driving, with a full lineup of electrified vans set to appear in staring in 2020.

The center’s responsibilities also include alternative fuels, hydrogen fuel cells, seating, active safety, manual transmissions and automated testing functions.

PSA CEO Carlos Tavares has pledged to find at least 1.1 billion euros in synergies by 2021 that will help stem decades of losses at Opel. The savings will come from shared platforms, combined engineering and purchasing functions, and cross-brand manufacturing.

Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller said joint platforms will bring savings of up to 50 percent compared to previous Opel/Vauxhall vehicles. Among those models is the next generation of the Corsa subcompact hatchback, which will be introduced next year. It will be built on PSA’s compact modular platform, or CMP, which can accommodate multiple powertrains, including internal combustion, hybrid and electric.

Opel’s losses under General Motors had narrowed to 257 million euros in 2016, but increased again last year. PSA said that Opel lost 179 million euros in the last five months of 2017 after the sale was finalized. GM did not report figures for the first seven months. Tavares has said that no new guidance would be forthcoming until the end of 2018.

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