TOKYO - Opel may buy a diesel from Isuzu Motors for use in an upper-medium car in Europe, likely to be the Vectra.
Negotiations between the two companies center on Isuzu's 3.0-liter V-6 diesel, said a source close to the deal.
Buying about 20,000 diesel engines a year from Isuzu's Fujisawa plant near Tokyo would let Opel expand its lineup of diesel-powered Vectras beyond the current 2.0- and 2.2-liter versions.
Isuzu plans this year to build 263,000 of its 1.7-liter diesel engines at its plant in Poland. The engines are for the Opel Corsa, Astra and Combo. That volume is almost the same as last year.
The Vectra is a key model in GM's European lineup, with 2002 sales of 160,900 units for the Opel and Vauxhall brands.
Isuzu already has a contract to supply 24,000 of the 3.0-liter diesel engines to Renault and Saab this year.
Isuzu has struggled to make money in heavy-duty trucks in Japan and sport-utilities in the US market. Diesel engines have been one of its most steady and profitable operations. GM last year cut its stake in all of Isuzu to 12 percent, but owns a majority stake of Isuzu's diesel operations in Poland and the USA.