PSA Group closes acquisition of Opel and Vauxhall from General Motors
01 August 2017
The PSA Group today (Tuesday 1 August) announced the closing of the acquisition of General Motors (GM) subsidiaries Opel and Vauxhall. The deal was first struck on 6 March 2017.
With the inclusion of the Opel and Vauxhall brands, PSA becomes the second largest European car manufacturer, with a 17% share of the West European new car market according to ACEA data. Now with five established car brands, PSA seeks to strengthen its presence in the major European markets and leverage this as a foundation for profitable growth worldwide. In parallel, the acquisition of GM Financial's European operations is under way, subject to validation by the different regulatory authorities and is planned for the second half of 2017.
‘We are witnessing the birth of a true European champion today,’ PSA Chairman of the Managing board Carlos Tavares emphasised. ‘We will assist Opel and Vauxhall’s return to profitability and aim to set new industry benchmarks together. We will unleash the power of these iconic brands and the huge potential of its existing talents. Opel will remain German, Vauxhall will remain British. They are the perfect fit to our existing portfolio of French brands Peugeot, Citroën and DS Automobiles.’
‘It is a historic day,’ said Opel Automobile GmbH CEO Michael Lohscheller. He added: ‘We are proud to join Groupe PSA and are now opening a new chapter in our history after 88 years with General Motors. We will continue our path of making technology `made in Germany´ available to everyone. The combination of our strengths will enable us to turn Opel and Vauxhall into a profitable and self-funded business. We have set ourselves the clear target of returning to profitability by 2020.’
Opel and Vauxhall will build a strategic plan with PSA’s support and this will be presented by teams in 1oo days’ time, with synergies generated by the newly expanded PSA Group estimated at about €1.7 billion euros per year in the medium term. ‘We are eager to build the plan with PSA’s support and obviously together with our partners from the Works Council and the unions,’ said Lohscheller. The goal is to generate a positive operational free cash flow by 2020 as well as an operating margin of 2% by 2020 and 6% by 2026.
PSA and Opel/Vauxhall have been working together since 2012. The cooperation so far includes four vehicles from Opel. The first model, the Opel Crossland X, has been available at dealerships since the end of June. The Opel Grandland X SUV in the next higher segment follows in the fall. The successor of the Opel Combo light commercial vehicle will come onto the market next year and as of 2019 the next generation of the best-selling Opel Corsa will be launched.
Opel/Vauxhall and PSA will also continue to work with General Motors in the future. In addition to development in the area of electric propulsion, Opel plants will continue to produce vehicles for the GM brands Buick and Holden.
Going forward, Lohscheller is planning a much leaner management structure, including the number of direct reports. ‘We are reducing complexity and increasing speed,’ he said. ‘I am looking forward to shaping the next chapter of Opel/Vauxhall with the new management team and leading our company into a successful future. The owners and the employees will not be the only ones to benefit from ever stronger Opel and Vauxhall brands – our customers will do so too.’
Photograph courtesy of Opel