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GAZ Group is acquiring the 50 percent equity stake of VM Motori, S.p.A., under a purchase agreement with Penske Corporation signed on August 27, 2008. This agreement is subject to clearance by the European Union Commission.

“This equity ownership agreement enables GAZ Group to access world-class diesel engine design and manufacturing,” said Sergey Zanozin, GAZ Group CEO. “It’s a highly promising investment opportunity, given the significant increase in demand for diesel engines in Russia and the positive business development of VM Motori globally.”

GM purchased its 50 percent equity share in VM Motori from Penske Corporation in 2007, after 10 years of collaboration with the company in supplying engines for its Opel brand products, in a technology agreement with GM Daewoo, and in joint development of a new 2.9-liter V-6 turbo diesel scheduled to launch in the Cadillac CTS in Europe in 2009, and in the most recent technology agreements for the manufacturing of VM Motori diesel engines in Thailand and Mercosur.

“Diesel engines have a very important role in GM's global advanced propulsion strategy,” said Mike Arcamone, vice president, GM Powertrain Europe. “We are leveraging expertise and resources within our company and through technology partners like VM Motori to ensure we develop the world’s best powertrains. Our joint venture agreement with GAZ Group provides business opportunities to expand our diesel engine business with new customers.”

The agreements enable GAZ Group to set up production of VM Motori engines under license in Russia for its range of light commercial vehicles, Gazelle and Maxus. In addition, local production will provide an opportunity to satisfy growing demand for light diesel engines from Russian manufacturers of road construction and agricultural equipment.

“Through localization of diesel engine production we will achieve the strategic goal of creating a full range of diesel engines to meet existing and future customer and environmental requirements for both Russian and global markets,” said Zanozin.


More at the link: http://www.gmeurope.info/social_media_newsroom/archives/490-GAZ-Group-and-General-Motors-Corp.-Reach-Joint-Venture-Agreement-For-Ownership-of-VM-Motori.html
 

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Awesome, cut Damler off from access to the VM engines and use that capicity to put them into GM trucks.. a VM powered Silverado or ATLAS powered vehicle will sell here!!
 

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So why did Penske sell? I would have thought it a valuable company with some pretty strong prospects. Having the agricultural and commercial vehicle markets as support is a good insulator against any quick powertrain turnarounds for personal transportation.
 

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So why did Penske sell? I would have thought it a valuable company with some pretty strong prospects. Having the agricultural and commercial vehicle markets as support is a good insulator against any quick powertrain turnarounds for personal transportation.
Maybe since Penske owns Detroit Diesel as well, they thought that this was enough and their 50% stake in VM was good enough?

The real story here is that Russian companies are flush with cash to make investments in Europe and elsewhere. They bought the old Sebring/Stratus from Chrysler, are buildilng alliances with Western companies like Renault and Ford, and are looking to consolidate their own auto industry for a few "national champions" to take on the rest of the world.

The next couple of years will be interesting as India, China, and Russia push into more world markets. Don't be surprised if the company that ends up with Hummer is Russia.
 
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