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PSA engines to power Insignia/Astra: report

Just business: PSA Group’s buyout of Opel will yield operational changes to the German car-maker, which is expected to first manifest in phasing out Opel powertrains and platforms.

Opel switch to PSA powertrains not expected to affect Holden’s short-term future

Opel logo2 Oct 2017

PSA Group will reportedly begin consolidating Opel’s platform and powertrain range with the aim to replace German-developed products with its own, casting doubt over the future of Holden’s imported Commodore and Astra beyond their current generations.

The restructuring decision follows PSA Group’s acquisition of former General Motors (GM)-owned Opel – from which Holden sources both its new-gen ZB Commodore and the Astra hatch and wagon – and, according to Automotive News Europe, will see a portion of Opel’s engine development and production coming to an end in the approaching years.

PSA development chief Gilles Le Borgne told the publication there was no timeframe on when the changeover would happen, but added “we will gradually start using PSA platforms and engines for the Opel model line-up”.

“This won’t happen overnight. It will take a few years,” he said.

Mr Le Borgne said “nothing has been decided” on which Opel platforms/engines would be discontinued first and indicated the changeover would likely happen as new-generation products are introduced.

“Opel will draw on experiences from our own restructuring, so we expect synergies to be gained from with every model replacement,” he said.

PSA Group is also currently paying Opel’s former owner for use of GM technologies found throughout its current line-up, which is not ideal according to Mr Le Borgne.

“We want to dispense with any payments for licensing fees as quickly as possible,” he said.

Holden’s incoming Opel-sourced ZB Commodore is understood to be locked in to complete its seven- or eight-year model lifecycle before a potential replacement mid-sizer is introduced, while the current Astra is also expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

Beyond that however, PSA could split development of the next-generation Insignia with its Peugeot 508 mid-size cousin with both sharing the same platform and powertrain options.

Before that, a new Astra will possibly materialise in the coming years with the same underpinnings as a next-generation Peugeot 308 small car.

Opel has already halted development of its next-gen Corsa light hatch, which will now be based on underpinnings of the next Peugeot 208.

In is unclear if Holden’s current deal to import and rebadge the Opel Insignia and Astra could be extended to products developed and powered by PSA Group products beyond their current generation.

If the Aussie brand seeks to continue with the aforementioned model lines, it could turn to fellow GM-owned brands such as Chevrolet, Buick or Cadillac to fill the gaps.

Holden could import its sister-brand Chevrolet’s Malibu sedan or the next-gen version of the Impala to succeed the ZB Commodore, while the next Holden-badged small car could share development with the next Chevrolet Cruze.

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