The acquisition of Opel and Vauxhall by Groupe PSA has officially taken place this week, with previous owner General Motors finalising the deal with the French automaker.
With the deal now completed Groupe PSA moves up to the position of Europe’s second-largest automaker by sales with a combined 17 percent market share across Europe for its new additions plus existing Citroen, Peugeot, and DS Automibiles brands.
Having first announced the deal in March the closure comes in a surprisingly short amount of time, with General Motors having a reputation for lengthy negotiations, particularly in regards to intellectual property, which has seen delays in the handover of the Saab brand or the outright closure of other former GM divisions including Saturn, Hummer and Pontiac for whom terms of sale could not be agreed upon.
Groupe PSA has promised that it will outline its strategic plans for the Opel and Vauxhall brands within the next 100 days, under the guidance of CEO, Michael Lohscheller appointed to the role in June this year, and previous Opel’s CFO since 2012.
Already the expanded Groupe PSA has announced that it intends to use new-found economies of scale to save an estimated €1.7 billion (A$2.5 billion) in the near-to-mid term.
"This project became a reality with a few months only, thanks to the outstanding work of the teams and I want to thank them warmly.” Groupe PSA chairman, Carlos Tavares said. “We will grasp this opportunity to build on one another's strengths and to attract new customers, thanks to the implementation of the performance plan that Opel and Vauxhall will implement.”
Presently the handover includes Opel and Vauxhall’s automotive operations, with the control of GM Financial still in progress, with different regulatory approval required, which is expected to take until September this year.
Despite being launched under GM ownership, Groupe PSA already has two shared models ready to roll with the Crossland X and Grandland X SUVs developed using PSA platforms and engines for the formerly-GM brands.
Opel’s next-generation light car and related light van are also believed to be under development with PSA platforms at their core while the outlook for more recently introduced products like the Astra and Insignia is still to be announced.
The change of ownership also results in implications for Holden, which currently sources the Astra hatch from Opel, with the next generation Commodore launching later this year to also come from Opel as a rebadged version of the Insignia.
Holden has already confirmed that its current supply contracts will not be affected, however the successive generation small and medium-to-large cars have not yet come to light, although with access to GM’s remaining portfolio through brands like Chevrolet and Buick it seems unlikely that Holden will go without suitable replacements.