News - Peugeot
Holden ‘not affected’ as PSA buys Opel, Vauxhall
Opel mine: PSA will take over GM’s European brands at the end of the year for the princely sum of €2.2b ($A3.1b).
Peugeot, Citroen, DS parent PSA Group purchases GM’s Euro brands in $2b-plus deal
7 March 2017
FRANCE’S PSA Group has agreed to buy General Motors’ European brands Opel and
Vauxhall for €1.3 billion ($A1.8b) and €0.9 billion ($A1.3b) respectively, with
the landmark transaction due to be completed in the final quarter of this year.
With significant European brands Peugeot, Citroen and DS joining forces with
the two new marques, the deal will elevate PSA to Europe’s second-largest auto
conglomerate and a 17 per cent market share, behind the European giant
Sourcing vehicles from the European Opel pool is a significant part of
Australian GM brand Holden’s strategy as it transitions into a full-line
importer this year, but the Australian subsidiary said this week that its
current product programs are not affected.
“Holden and Opel have had close ties for many years and delivered fantastic
vehicles to Australian customers, including the current all-new Astra and the
next-generation Commodore due in 2018,” Holden said in a statement. “The good
news is these product programs are not affected at all.”
It will be business as usual, according to Holden, with plans for the
progressive introduction of more European-sourced cars unchanged – at least in
the foreseeable future.
“We will continue to work closely with Opel and GM to deliver our vehicle plans
with excellence and precision. This includes future, new right-hand-drive SUVs
like the Equinox and Acadia that were engineered specifically for right-hand
drive markets,” the company said.
While GM hands over its mainstream brands Opel and Vauxhall, reports suggest
that it will retain a luxury presence in Europe, continuing to battle sports
and luxury brands with its Cadillac range as well as the Chevrolet Camaro and
Corvette sports models.
US publication Automotive News said General Motors president and CEO
Mary Barra confirmed overnight that the company would retain the high-end
brands in Europe.
“That is the plan at this time, to continue with those models and brands in
Europe,” she said. “We continue to grow the Cadillac brand. We’ll continue to
do that in a very disciplined fashion.”
PSA chairman Carlos Tavares said the sale of Opel and Vauxhall to PSA provides
solid foundations for the company to continue to grow locally and
“We are proud to join forces with Opel/Vauxhall and are deeply committed to
continuing to develop this great company and accelerating its turnaround,” he
“We welcome all that has been done by its talented teams and the beautiful Opel
and Vauxhall brands and the exceptional heritage of the company. We intend to
manage PSA and Opel/Vauxhall capitalising on their brand identities.
“Having already jointly developed excellent models for the European market, we
are confident that Opel/Vauxhall is the right partner. This is for us a natural
extension of our partnership, and we look forward to moving to the next level.”
Mr Tavares’ enthusiasm for the deal was echoed by Ms Barra.
“We are pleased to have together, we GM, our colleagues of Opel/Vauxhall and
PSA, a new opportunity to increase the long-term performance of our companies
relying on the success of our alliance,” she said.
“For GM, this is another major step in the currently deployed plan to improve
our performance and accelerate our momentum. We are transforming our company
and reaching record and lasting results for our shareholders through
disciplined allocation of our resources in favour of the most profitable
investments in our heart of automotive business and in new technologies that
allow us to define the future of individual mobility.”
Ms Barra explained that the two companies would continue to work together on
existing collaborative projects as well as future ventures for new products.
“We are confident that this new chapter will further strengthen Opel and
Vauxhall in the long term and we look forward to contributing to the future
success and PSA value creation potential through our common economic interests
and an ongoing collaboration on existing projects but also on other exciting
projects to come,” she said.
As part of the deal, GM’s European financial operations will be taken over by a
new joint venture between PSA and international banking group BNP Paribas, with
each company holding a 50 per cent stake.
With its bolstered empire, PSA says the new arrangement will allow it to
upscale operations in purchasing, production and R&D, while the company
forecasts “synergies” of €1.7b ($A2.4b) by 2026 – with a majority of that
figure realised by 2020.
Opel/Vauxhall operating margins will reach 2.0 per cent by 2020 before climbing
to 6.0 per cent in 2026, the company said.