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Breaking: GM Confirms Talks With PSA About Selling Opel Vauxhall

Breaking: GM Confirms Talks With PSA About Selling Opel Vauxhall

General Motors confirmed this morning the company is in talks with PSA Group about potentially selling Opel Vauxhall to the French automaker. The news comes a bit out of nowhere, but should not be a huge shock to those who follow the industry. GM and PSA have been working together since 2012.

Media reports out of Europe suggest talks between the two automakers are in “advanced” stages and that the talks are centered around PSA Group acquiring GM’s European brands. An acquisition would shed GM of two divisions that have lacked consistent profitability in recent years as stiff competition and a weak European economy have stifled sales.

GM acquired Vauxhall in 1925 and Opel in 1929 during the company’s spree of purchasing global auto brands as a means of expansion.

In recent years GM has tried to tighten ties between Detroit and Germany by building Opel products off of GM’s global architectures. For example, most Buick products have a corresponding Opel counterpart. However, despite the closer ties, Opel still failed to become profitable in 2016, which was the original goal within GM’s restructuring.

GM says the lack of profitability at Opel last year is at least partially attributed to fallout associated with the UK’s affirmation it will leave the European Union. This situation alone is likely playing into GM’s calculus to potential sell off its European assets to PSA.

PSA Group is currently executing an aggressive growth strategy in Europe, partially supported by a government bailout. At one time GM owned 7 percent of PSA Group, but it has since sold its stake but maintained its strategic alliance with the French company.

GM has issued a public statement confirming the talks, but the company is clearly attempting to downplay the situation:

Since 2012, General Motors and PSA Group have been implementing an alliance covering, to date, three projects in Europe and generating substantial synergies for the two groups.  Within this framework, General Motors and PSA Group regularly examine additional expansion and cooperation possibilities, as well. PSA Group and General Motors confirm they are exploring numerous strategic initiatives aiming at improving  profitability and operational efficiency, including a potential acquisition of Opel Vauxhall by PSA.

There can be no assurance that an agreement will be reached.





 

About Nick Saporito

AutoVerdict Senior Editor Nick Saporito began writing about cars at age 13. Nick ran a couple of automotive enthusiast sites for several years, before taking some time off to focus on his career and education. By day he's a marketing executive in the telecom world and by night he hangs out here at AV. You'll find him focusing on tech, design and the industry's future.
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 Latest Forum Messages
  1. CobaltSSKing
    Dequindre
    My fantasy GM-FCA lineup:

    -Chevrolet: Mainstream; rebadge for Holdens

    -Dodge: Sporty mainstream; essentially a modern Pontiac

    -Jeep: Rugged utilities

    -Buick: Premium

    -GMC: Premium truck/SUV/crossover

    -Cadillac: Luxury; shared vehicles with Alfa and Maserati

    -Fiat: European mainstream

    -Alfa Romeo: Sporty luxury; vehicles shared with Cadillac and sold as Cadillacs in the US.

    -Maserati: High-end luxury; vehicles shared with Cadillac and sold as Cadillacs in the US.

    -Chrysler: DEAD; Pacifica sold as a Buick or Chevrolet

    -Lancia: DEAD

    -Ram: DEAD


    This but Ram does have its own identity that a bit different from the Silverado and Sierra. The current platforms that GM has would probably remain under GM. Development for any new car platforms will happen far down the line especially with everything being focused on crossovers these days. I personally dont see any issue with GM merging with FCA as well.
    Tone
    Mmmm. Canada just finalized a free trade agreement with the EU and I think the US is also a signatory. Despite the current US administration's overall take on trade deals, this one is with another industrialized region with similar regulatory and business approaches. Perhaps GM is looking at that and realizing it could get rid of Opel and just import existing 'global' cars from North America? That would make better use of existing factories and perhaps make the European sales operation profitable even if overall volume drops.

    Regarding the rumours on FCA -- it still doesn't make sense. I get what FCA gets out of such a deal, but not what GM gets. The only really valuable thing is Jeep and GM has the resources to builds GMC into a Jeep competitor if it wanted to.
    ChevyRules
    If GM were to buy FCA, I only see value in Jeep and possibly Alfa/Maserati. Rest of the brands are killed and Ram merged with GMC.
    Andrew_L
    Dequindre
    There has been some speculation concerning GM purchasing FCA. It would make sense, at least with the European brands. GM would still have their foot in the European market with Fiat, Alfa, Maserati, and possibly Lancia.


    As someone said on GMI that really wouldn't make that much sense. They have owned Opel/Vauxhall for nearly a century why sell them just to acquire another group of euro brands. It's not like Fiat and Maserati is setting the sales charts on fire. Also I posted this:

    Dodge - Fill the void of Pontiac? It's something Chevy easily covers

    Chrysler - Again something Chevy easily covers now that it's a main stream brand. Maybe the minivan is worth something but not that much.

    Ram - Chevy and GMC cover this already except the van market but that's something GM can do on their own.

    Jeep - The Wrangler alone is such an icon and sells very well and would be worth something along with models like the Grand Cherokee

    Alfa - Competes too much with where Cadillac wants to be, will only be a distraction.

    Fiat - See Ram.

    My take anyway.
    Dequindre
    My fantasy GM-FCA lineup:

    -Chevrolet: Mainstream; rebadge for Holdens

    -Dodge: Sporty mainstream; essentially a modern Pontiac

    -Jeep: Rugged utilities

    -Buick: Premium

    -GMC: Premium truck/SUV/crossover

    -Cadillac: Luxury; shared vehicles with Alfa and Maserati

    -Fiat: European mainstream

    -Alfa Romeo: Sporty luxury; vehicles shared with Cadillac and sold as Cadillacs in the US.

    -Maserati: High-end luxury; vehicles shared with Cadillac and sold as Cadillacs in the US.

    -Chrysler: DEAD; Pacifica sold as a Buick or Chevrolet

    -Lancia: DEAD

    -Ram: DEAD
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