By Andrew Ganz
Tuesday, Oct 29th, 2013 @ 7:40 am
 
After buying 50 percent of the diesel engine manufacturer VM Motori from General Motors, Fiat has completed its acquisition of the Italian firm.

Fiat's full ownership of VM Motori is significant for the global diesel market. In North America, VM Motori engines power the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel and they will also be under the hood of the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel beginning early next year thanks to Fiat's control of Detroit automaker Chrysler.

If Chrysler's new diesel powerplants are a hit with consumers, the automaker has indicated that other diesel-powered, high mpg models will likely follow.

GM had relied on VM Motori to supply it with some small displacement turbodiesel engines, but it is now developing those units internally with help from its Opel division in Germany.

In 2010, Fiat first acquired a 50 percent stake in VM Motori, based near supercar firms Ferrari and Lamborghini in Cento, Italy. Operated as a joint partnership with GM for the last several years, VM Motori builds nearly 100,000 diesel engines annually primarily for Fiat and Chrysler products. As a subsidiary for Fiat, it is likely to become the Italian automaker's primary source for diesel powertrains moving forward.