Vauxhall has new French owners – PSA Group has announced that the purchase of the British brand and its German Opel sister has now been completed.
The acquisition from US giant General Motors will make PSA Group, which owns Peugeot, Citroën and DS Automobiles, the second biggest car maker in Europe after Volkswagen Group. PSA now has around 17% of the market.
PSA insists that under its leadership – which ends 88 years of Vauxhall-Opel ownership by GM – the two manufacturers will retain their identities and be operated as ‘iconic German and British brands.’ “We are witnessing the birth of a true European champion today,” commented PSA chairman Carlos Tavares.
“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,” Tavares adds. “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.”
PSA now intends to produce a ‘performance plan’ for the two brands within 100 days, the aim being to return them to profitability of 2% by 2020 and 6% by 2026. However the future of Vauxhall’s UK plants at Ellesmere Port, which builds the Astra, and Luton, producing the Vivaro van, could remain uncertain for some time.
Part of the future plans will no doubt involve model sharing which has been going on between PSA and Vauxhall-Opel since 2012. The Vauxhall/Opel Crossland X and Grandland X both share platforms and are built with Peugeot’s 2008/3008 range, while the next Corsa, due to 2019 will also be a joint product. The makeup of light-commercial vehicles are also shared with PSA.