General Motors has sold its powertrain engineering center in Turin, Italy to Belgium-based automotive supply company Punch Group.
The sales of the plant included an “engineering services agreement to support GM’s global product programs through the end of 2021,” the company said in a statement, allowing it to continue to reap the benefits of the Powertrain Torino facility while also continuing to restructure of its international operations.
“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,” GM’s executive vice president Doug Parks, said in a statement. “The work will continue to support our global operations and allow us to focus our internal efforts on long-term solutions.”
“This addition to our global portfolio will help the Punch Group execute our vision to be the leading integrator and manufacturer of driveline solutions,” added Punch Group founder and CEO Guido Dumarey. “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.”
Employees of GM Powertrain Torino are now employees of Punch Group, effective February 26th, 2020. GM says the two companies “will continue to work together to ensure a smooth transition from GM to Punch Group,” for workers at the facility.
GM Powertrain Torino was born out of a failed diesel powertrain collaboration between GM and Fiat. It was responsible for developing the automaker’s 3.0L LM2 inline-six Duramax diesel engine, found in the latest GM trucks and full-size SUVs, and also engineered the 1.6L LH7 diesel engine formerly offered in the Chevrolet Equinox and Chevrolet Cruze. In 2018, Pierpaolo Antonioli, head of the Turin powertrain facility, told Automotive News Europe GM had an “important strategy around diesel,” and that it was “working to keep [U.S. Sales] increasing.” As of 2018, around 750 people worked at the engineering facility.