Peugeot-Citroen strikes deal with GM to buy Vauxhall-Opel

The French company that owns Peugeot and Citroen has struck a deal to buy General Motors’ (GM) European unit, including the Opel and Vauxhall brands. PSA is on its way to becoming Europe’s second-largest carmaker.

Ahead of a press conference in Paris on Monday, French carmaker PSA announced the acquisition of General Motors’ (GM) European subsidiary, which includes the Opel and Vauxhall brands, for 1.3 billion euros ($1.38 billion).

PSA said in a statement it was also buying GM Europe’s financial operations for 900 million euros in a joint deal with bank BNP Paribas.

With GM’s Opel and Vauxhall operations, PSA would become Europe’s second-largest carmaker behind Volkswagen, but overtaking Renault-Nissan.

The takeover includes six assembly plants and five component-making facilities and some 40,000 employees. PSA CEO Carlos Tavares said the firm was “deeply committed to continuing to develop this great company [Opel] and accelerating its turnaround.”

But at a news conference on Monday, he told reporters that it was not PSA’s plan fight side by side with the trade unions. Referring to Opel, he said “a company that has been in the red for a decade naturally poses a problem.”

“I think the trade unions are wise enough to understand that the current situation has to be improved.”

Ending decades of problems?

The PSA-Opel/Vauxhall merger comes after almost two decades of crisis for GM’s European division. Despite remaining a familiar sight on German roads, Opel with its lightning logo and its British sibling Vauxhall haven’t booked a profit since 1999.

Opel executives had managed to reduce losses in recent years and stop the slide in the carmaker’s market share only to run up against a slump in the value of the pound after the UK’s vote to leave the European Union.

Britain is the biggest market for the Insignia and Corsa models, sold there under the Vauxhall brand…

Read more : Deutsche Welle, 06.03.2017