One of the largest carmakers in Russia, GAZ Group, has reached an agreement with General Motors and Penske Corporation to buy a 50% stake in Italian engine design and manufacturing firm VM Motori. GM currently owns a 50% stake in VM Motori, with the remaining 50% transferred to the GAZ Group by Penske in an agreement signed late last month.

GM first bought its stake, also from Penske, last year but has been using VM Motori engines for more than a decade in a number of Opel and Daewoo models. The company’s flagship engine, a new 2.9L V6 turbodiesel with 250hp (184kW) and 406lb-ft (550Nm) of torque will be used in the new Cadillac CTS and could even be sold in the U.S. if GM gives it the green light.

Both GM and VM Motori are hopeful of any synergies that can be generated by the joint-venture. “We believe GAZ will be a strong partner for GM in the VM Motori operation and the entry of GAZ as a shareholder brings with it the potential to develop the engine business particularly in new markets, ensuring future growth,” explained VM Motori boss Vilmo Ferioli.

The new agreements enable GAZ Group to set up production of VM Motori engines under license in Russia for its range of light commercial vehicles. However, GM’s European powertrain boss Mike Arcamone points out that the agreement will also allow GM access to new customers for its diesel engine business.