GM unlikely to share Volt's green tech with Peugeot

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 12, 2012 10:09 AM
GM unlikely to share Volt's green tech with Peugeot

MUNICH (Reuters) - Cutting-edge technology in greener cars like General Motor's Chevy Volt and PSA Peugeot Citroen's 3008 HYbrid4 is unlikely to be shared in the alliance between the two firms, an executive from GM's Opel unit said on Thursday.

"The honest answer is I can't imagine that," Opel development chief Rita Forst told an industry conference in Munich, when asked if the two companies would offer cars equipped with the other's respective flagship green car technology.

Industry experts say halo products like the Opel Ampera extended range electric vehicle (EREV), sold as the Volt in the United States, are crucial for a brand to demonstrate leadership and innovation.

They also help to drive demand for core volume models, since customers come to see the Ampera or the 3008 diesel hybrid but drive off with a more affordable Opel Astra or Peugeot 208, respectively.

Toyota's Prius, the first commercially successful full hybrid, helped transform the company's image from being a Japanese carmaker late in identifying future trends to one of the greenest car brands in the industry.

"There are certain technological genes that a manufacturer cannot share," Forst said, explaining that unique selling points like these needed to be protected.

GM and Peugeot agreed in late February to form a global alliance targeting a combined reduction in annual costs of at least $2 billion by sharing selected platforms, modules and components on a worldwide basis.

(Reporting by Christiaan Hetzner; Editing by Mark Potter)