In this day and age, automakers are either buying each other up forming new groups or constantly deepening their cooperation with their counterparts. The Fiat Group, which recently acquired a 20% stake in Chrysler, is now expanding its commercial vehicle joint ventures to include GM's European Opel and Vauxhall units.
The Italian company, which has a joint venture for larger LCVs with the PSA Peugeot-Citroen Group, has signed a contract agreement with GM to supply vehicles comprising of several variants to Opel starting from December 2011. The new model will replace the German firm's Combo light commercial vehicle, keeping the same name. The range will include a number of derivatives, such as cargo vans, passenger vehicles and chassis cabs.
The new Opel Combo will be based on the same platform as the current Fiat Doblo models, with production to take place at Fiat's Tofas plant in Bursa, Turkey where the Doblo is manufactured. According to the announcement, the project calls for an initial supply of up to 6,000 vehicles in 2011, and gradually increase to at 250,000 units per year.
The new Combo will be sold by Vauxhall and Opel dealers in Europe and other markets outside of North America starting in January 2012.