GM and PSA Peugeot-Citroen nix joint-developed midsize cars to concentrate on compacts

Citroen C5Last February, General Motors and France’s PSA Peugeot Citroen announced a “Global Strategic Alliance” that would mutually benefit both companies. Now, the terms of the deal are being refined. In October, GM and PSA said they would collaborate on four new vehicle platforms, but that number has dropped to three.

According to GM, a new midsize sedan that would have replaced the current Citroen C5 (pictured), Peugeot 508, and Opel/Vauxhall Insignia (a.k.a. Buick Regal) is off the table, but work on three compact vehicle platforms has begun.

The first new platform will yield a C-segment MPV (minivan to Americans) for GM’s German Opel and British Vauxhall divisions, as well as a C-segment crossover for Peugeot. This will allow all three brands to ditch badge-engineered versions of other companies’ cars: the current Opel/Vauxhall Combo is based on the Fiat Doblo, while Peugeot’s 4007 crossover is a rebadged Mitsubishi Outlander.

A second platform will be the basis for a B-segment MPV, which could be sold under all four brand names. This would provide GM with an updated model and PSA with an entry into a new segment. Opel and Vauxhall have the suicide door-equipped Meriva, but the closest thing Citroen and Peugeot have to a B-segment MPV are the C3 Picasso tall wagon (think Ford C-Max, only smaller and French) and the Bipper and Partner Tepees (both based on commercial vans), respectively.

The third and final platform will be a B-segment car with a focus on low CO2 emissions. This car could be close in size to the old Citroen C2 or the recently introduced Opel Adam and, as a low-emissions vehicle, might compete against micro city cars like the Volkswagen Up!

GM says the first products of this joint venture will appear in 2016, and that both companies are considering other joint vehicle projects.

“The Opel/Vauxhall, Peugeot and Citroen models will be highly differentiated and fully consistent with their respective brand characteristics,” the company said. That means no badge engineered models, thankfully. GM and PSA had better stick to this, because it would be a shame if cars from four of Europe’s biggest brands ended up being the same.