TURIN - General Motors Power-train Europe is keeping its headquarters in Turin because it is just the right distance from its chief customers.
"Working from Turin permits us to serve all our brands - Opel, Vauxhall, Cadillac, Chevrolet and Saab - without being too close to just one of them," said Greg Deveson, general manager of GM Powertrain Europe and vice president of GM Powertrain.
Deveson's three other reasons for staying in Turin are that it has "skilled engineers, a good network of dedicated suppliers and a supporting engineering university."
As part of their agreement to end their 5-year-old alliance, GM and Fiat broke up their Fiat-GM Powertrain joint venture, which was based in Turin, Fiat's corporate headquarters. Deveson was CEO of Fiat-GM Powertrain
Following the breakup, GM created GM Powertrain Europe. The division started operations May 13. GM invested E10 million to set up its new headquarters, which opened June 21.
GM Powertrain Europe has a long-term lease on an office building in the city's northern outskirts, near the airport. The ground floor of the building is leased to a Peugeot dealership.
GM is also looking for land in Turin to build a new engineering center. The site will be selected by the end of the year and the center will be completed by 2007. The world's largest carmaker also opened a global diesel development center in Turin.
GM Powertrain Europe is in charge of engineering centers in Germany and Sweden, and manufacturing operations in Austria, Germany, Hungary and Sweden.
The division produces 1.5 million engines and 1.1 million transmissions a year.
The division employs 10,000 people, 130 of them are based in Turin, but that number will double in the next 12-18 months.