TOKYO - Isuzu Motors Ltd. is in discussions to supply another diesel engine to Adam Opel AG, the German unit of General Motors.
On the table is a 3.0-liter V-6 diesel to be used for Opel's "upper-middle class" model, probably the Vectra, says a source close to the deal who declined to be named.
The possible supply of about 20,000 diesel engines a year from Isuzu's Fujisawa plant, near Tokyo, would allow Opel to expand its lineup of diesel-powered Vectras beyond the current 2.0- and 2.2-liter versions.
Isuzu, owned 12 percent by GM, plans to build 263,000 1.7-liter diesel engines at its plant in Poland for the Opel Corsa, Astra and Kombo. That volume almost equals last year's.
The Vectra is one of Opel's core models with estimated sales of 105,756 gasoline and diesel versions in Europe in 2002, according to JATO Dynamics, a London consulting firm. That's down from 121,407 in 2001.
Isuzu already is under contract to supply 24,000 of the 3.0-liter diesels to Renault SA and Saab this year.
Isuzu has struggled to make money in heavy-duty trucks in Japan and SUVs in the U.S. market. Diesel engines have been one of its most steady and profitable operations. GM now owns a majority stake in Isuzu's diesel operations in Poland and the United States.