Opel deal launches PSA’s global expansion plans

20 March 2017

Opel deal launches PSA’s global expansion plans

20 March 2017

PSA Group’s (Peugeot Citroën) purchase of Opel gives the French carmaker the critical scale it needs to launch its global expansion plans, a Peugeot family shareholder told Welt am Sonntag.

Jean-Philippe Peugeot said: ‘This will allow the group to conquer the rest of the world step by step. This remains an important goal for PSA.’ 

Robert Peugeot, chairman of PSA’s Group strategy committee, added that economies of scale are essential in achieving this goal as: ‘All large carmakers have a volume of three million cars in one important market.’ PSA’s purchase of Opel will give it the scale and stability it needs. 

This helped him to address criticisms from analysts that PSA’s purchase of Opel meant it focused more on the mature European market rather than growth markets such as Asia. ‘Opel is strong in markets where PSA is not so strong.’ He explained that Opel sells more cars than all of PSA combined (Peugeot, Citroën and DS) in Germany, and that Vauxhall, its sister brand, also sells more cars in the UK than all of PSA combined. 

He concluded: ‘There is very little cannibalisation between the brands.’ 

Jean-Philippe Peugeot revealed that a deal between the French and Germans had been in consideration even before 2012, when Peugeot struck a deal with General Motors to develop certain passenger cars together. He said: ‘Our family thought about getting closer to Opel even before the agreement with General Motors,’ but that it was not the right time for a deal. 

Meanwhile, on Monday France’s consumer fraud watchdog cleared Opel of further action over diesel emissions cheating, closing its investigation into the matter. The DGCCRF (Direction Générale de la Concurrence de la Consommation et de la Répression des Fraudes) probe was part of a wider investigation in the aftermath of the Volkswagen emissions scandal.  It cleared Opel saying it did not bring to light any evidence of fraud. Files the watchdog has previously sent to prosecutors over suspected emissions-cheating fraud included car makers Chrysler, Renault and PSA Group. The news will be encouraging for Opel-purchaser PSA Groupe, who can carry on with business as usual.

Photograph courtesy of Opel