GM Agrees to Sell Opel and Vauxhall Brands to PSA Group

Posted March 05, 2017

Following on from reports on Thursday that said France's PSA Group was closing in on acquiring Opel from General Motors, two people with knowledge of the plan told Reuters that the board of PSA "approved the deal on Friday, with an announcement planned for Monday".

Following the acquisition of Ambassador from Indian vehicle manufacturer Hindustan Motors, Peugeot is set to expand its range by entering a deal with General Motors for its Opel and Vauxhall brands, media reports said. Spokesmen for PSA and Opel declined to comment.

GM has lost about $20 billion Europe since the late 1990s and missed meeting its break-even goal in 2016 because of currency issues related to the United Kingdom's "Brexit" vote to leave the European Union.

PSA makes Peugeot and Citroen cars in Europe.

The two carmakers, which already share some production in an existing European alliance, confirmed last month they were negotiating an outright acquisition of Opel and its British Vauxhall brand by Paris-based PSA, sparking widespread concern over possible job cuts.

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The exact details of the agreement are unknown at this time, but the two sides reportedly made progress on Opel's pension plan, which was underfunded by about $9 billion.

The press conference will be on Monday at 0815 GMT, PSA and GM said, without specifying the subject. GM, on the other hand, is happy to see Opel go after losing the company money for the last 16 consecutive years. Detroit-based GM, which came close to selling Opel to Magna (MG.TO) in 2009, has faced investor pressure to offload its struggling European arm and focus on raising profitability rather than chase the global sales crown now held by VW. The French carmaker also expects savings of up to 2 billion euros ($2.1 billion) from the tie-up, sources have said.

PSA chairman Carlos Tavares last month said that he hopes to create a "European auto champion" with the combination and pledged to work with governments and unions that are anxious about job cuts.

"It was also heartening to hear that PSA group wants to work with Unite and recognises the skill and efficiency of our members who make the world class Astra and Vivaro vans".

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