Suzuki Motor Co. announced Wednesday that it will jointly develop a small passenger car with Adam Opel AG, a subsidiary of General Motors Corp., and start producing the model in 2000.

Suzuki and GM signed a final agreement Monday, according to Suzuki President Osamu Suzuki. Suzuki will produce the new model at its plant in Hungary, while Opel will produce the vehicle at its new plant currently under construction in Poland. Opel’s new plant is due to start operating this fall.

Suzuki will mount its 1.3-liter engine on the small car and plans to produce 50,000 units annually. Opel will use its own 1.2-liter engine on the model. Both carmakers will sell the model under their own brand name. Suzuki and GM have been negotiating the joint development of a small passenger car since 1996.

Asked whether Suzuki intends to expand its relations with General Motors, the company’s president said Suzuki will work with the U.S. firm on a case-by-case basis. “If there are some areas in which we can work together, we will cooperate. But we currently have no specific plan,” he said.

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