Opel plans to share architectures with PSA Peugeot Citroen image

Opel, the European arm of General Motors Co will present a plan to share automobile architectures with PSA Peugeot Citroen by the end of the year, Karl-Friedrich Stracke GM Europe President said Thursday.

A PSA Peugeot Citroen spokesman confirmed plans to conclude discussions on platform sharing by the end of 2012 as part of the companies’ cooperation.

GM has agreed to an alliance with PSA Peugeot Citroen that the two companies hope will lead to at least $2 billion in annual savings from shared purchasing, logistics and the joint development and production of vehicles and parts.

Karl-Friedrich Stracke said Opel would cooperate with PSA on at least four major architectures, without providing further details.

GM Europe’s supervisory board is scheduled to vote on Mr. Stracke’s eagerly-awaited turnaround plan on June 28. The plan is expected to include the possible closure of GM’s plant in Bochum, Germany, after 2016, which would mark the first closure of a major car plant in the country since World War II.

The decision marks a critical step in GM’s efforts to turn around its chronically money-losing European business, which has become the U.S. auto maker’s biggest albatross since it emerged from bankruptcy three years ago.

Europe’s car market will contract 7 percent this year, ACEA forecasts. At the same time, overcapacity in Western Europe may more than double to about 2 million vehicles in 2012 as sales fall for the fifth straight year, according to IHS Automotive.