General Motors announced that it has bought a 50 percent stake in the Penske-owned Italian diesel designer and manufacturer VM Motori S.p.A. to increase its diesel engine capacity.

On July 16 General Motors announced that it has bought a 50 percent stake in the Penske-owned Italian diesel designer and manufacturer VM Motori S.p.A. to increase its diesel engine capacity. Penske Corporation, retaining its 50 percent stake, will form a joint venture with GM to manage VM Motori. The acquisition comes amidst news that most major automakers are preparing for the release of diesel-powered cars for the U.S. market by 2010. At the Geneva Motor Show in March 2007, General Motors announced that it will in joint cooperation with VM Motori develop a 2.9-liter V6 turbo-diesel engine for the Cadillac STS in 2009. “Diesel engines have a very important role in GM's global advanced propulsion strategy,” said Tom Stephens, group vice president, GM Global Powertrain and Quality. “We are leveraging expertise and resources within our company and through technology partners to ensure we develop the world’s best powertrains.” According to one of the largest suppliers of diesel fuel injection systems, Siemens VDO Automotive Corporation, diesel sales in the U.S. are set to grow from 653,000 units this year to 867,000 units in 2012. Currently the majority of diesel-powered vehicles sold in the U.S. are heavy-duty pickups, but this is set to change by 2010 when nearly all major car corporations - Toyota, Honda, BMW, the Chrysler Group, Nissan, Audi, will introduce diesel-fueled cars and SUVs. Press release after the jump.

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