May 28, 2015 / 9:28 AM / 3 years ago

Opel CEO rules out deal with Fiat

FRANKFURT, May 28 (Reuters) - Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann on Thursday ruled out a deal with Fiat but said he sees the need to improve volume, scale and utilisation in the auto industry and at Opel.

“In principle (Fiat CEO Sergio) Marchionne is right, the auto industry develops the same things ten times over,” Neumann said, referring to an email, Marchionne sent to GM’s Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra in March suggesting combining the automakers.

The need for European cars to cut fleet emissions to an average 95 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre means carmakers are developing very similar engines. The cost of making next generation smaller engines can be cut by sharing development costs between brands.

“It was a big mistake for Opel to search for scale with PSA and not within GM,” Neumann said, referring to an alliance with the French carmaker Peugeot.

Neumann has pared back the extent of cooperation projects with Peugeot and focussed on using Opel’s parent company General Motors’ platforms instead. (Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Kirsti Knolle)

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