GM continues to offload its overseas operations and the latest one to go is the General Motors Global Propulsion Systems in Turin, Italy.
The buyer is Belgium-based automotive supplier Punch Group, which acquired the division in a transaction that also includes an engineering services agreement to support GM’s global product programs through the end of 2021. Think of it as a sale doubling as outsourcing, at least for the next two years.
According to GM, the agreement ensures the engineering center remains viable and the employees get to keep their jobs.
“We wanted the best solution for our employees and our company – the transfer of ownership to Punch Group, in addition to an engineering services agreement, does just that,” said Doug Parks, executive vice president, GM. “The work will continue to support our global operations and allow us to focus our internal efforts on long-term solutions,” he added.
While continuing to provide engineering services to GM, Punch Group also plans to reposition the company with developments for new market segments.
“The focus of this business will be to deliver world-class engineering services to GM and new clients. This includes developing engine applications for new segments, supporting the manufacturing of engines, and providing both engine and transmission solutions in markets worldwide,” said Punch Group Founder and CEO Guido Dumarey.
Formerly known as GM Powertrain Europe, General Motors Global Propulsion Systems served as a global center of excellence for diesel powertrains and electronics for GM since 2005, when it was set up as part of a collaboration with Fiat.
The most recent diesel engines developed in Turin include the 3.0-liter LM2 inline-six Duramax unit offered in the latest GM full-size trucks and SUVs, as well as the 1.6-liter LH7 engine that used to power the Chevrolet Equinox/GMC Terrain and Chevrolet Cruze.
As of February 27, 2020, the employees of GM Turin became employees of Punch Group, with the two companies pledging to ensure a smooth transition.