Isuzu Motors has rejected reports that it has plans to withdraw from a diesel engine manufacturing joint venture with General Motors' Opel unit. The joint venture, in which Isuzu has a 40 percent stake, has been developing diesel engines for Opel's Astra, Corsa and Meriva models in Poland since 1999. Isuzu spokesman Eiji Mitsuhashi denied a report in the Nikkei business daily that the carmaker plans to pull out of the venture.
Mitsuhashi also declined to clarify a part of the report saying that Isuzu plans to stop the development of the next-generation engine for Opel. According to the report by Nikkei, Isuzu plans to halt developing new engines for Opel due the dwindling car market in Europe. In May, Isuzu said it was holding discussions over a possible equity alliance with GM, dismissing reports that such talks were taking place.
GM disclosed last week that its Europe unit posted an operating loss of $361 million in the second quarter of 2012, in contrast to a profit of $102 million in the same period in 2011. But since GM’s loss in the unit was smaller than what some analysts had expected, the group managed to log a better-than-expected profit.