Vauxhall and its German sister brand Opel could finally be divorced from American parent company General Motors, if talks underway with PSA Group prove successful.
PSA Group, which owns French brands Peugeot, Citroën and DS Automobiles, has announced that it is in talks with GM over a purchase of Vauxhall and Opel, seven years after the American giant came very close to selling its loss-making European division.
According to industry title Automotive News Europe, Vauxhall and Opel have since cost GM $8 billion, having last made a profit in 1999. There had been hopes of breaking even in 2016 but these had been scuppered by the vote by the UK to leave the European Union.
The talks over PSA taking the majority interest in Vauxhall-Opel, with GM retaining a stake, are rumoured to be at an advanced stage but neither party is admitting so.
PSA has issued a statement saying that “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 confirms that, together with General Motors, it is exploring numerous strategic initiatives aiming at improving its profitability and operational efficiency, including a potential acquisition of Opel. There can be no assurance that an agreement will be reached.”
GM has issued a statement that virtually matches that of PSA.
The combined sales of Vauxhall-Opel and PSA’s brands would total around 2.5 million, making it the second largest group in Europe after the Volkswagen Group.
The two are already co-operating in practical terms. The Peugeot 2008 and 3008 are being built together with Vauxhall-Opel’s two new crossovers, the Crossland X and Grandland X, on the same platforms.