It's official. Opel, along with British subsidiary Vauxhall, is now part of Peugeot.
The sale of Opel and Vauxhall by General Motors to the PSA Group (Peugeot, Citroen, DS) has been finalized. This announcement comes weeks after the French company was able to secure approval from the European Union for the purchase of the German and British brands.
“It is a historic day. We are proud to join Groupe PSA and are now opening a new chapter in our history after 88 years with General Motors. We will continue our path of making technology `made in Germany´ available to everyone. The combination of our strengths will enable us to turn Opel and Vauxhall into a profitable and self-funded business. We have set ourselves the clear target of returning to profitability by 2020,” said Michael Lohscheller, CEO of Opel. PSA's acquirement of Opel and Vauxhall means that General Motors is now out of the European market.
“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. 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,” added Carlos Tavares, chairman of the PSA Group.
According to Opel, the combined entity will unlock substantial economies of scale and synergies in purchasing, manufacturing and R&D estimated at €1.7 billion. Opel aims to generate a positive operational free cash flow by 2020 as well as an operating margin of two percent by 2020 and six percent by 2026. The PSA Group will also be absorbing all employees from Opel and Vauxhall.
PSA Group takes over the Opel engineering center, located at Rüsselsheim, Germany and will be taking approximately 40,000 employees. The company also takes over the Luton facility of Vauxhall. In the meantime however, certain Opel and Vauxhall products will continue to use GM technologies, from engines, platforms and other mechanical parts. But while GM hardware is still used in the majority of Opel's product range, the German automaker has introduced their first car using Peugeot mechanicals with the Crossland X, which is based on the Peugeot 3008 crossover (pictured above). A few years down the line, the rest of the Opel and Vauxhall models will eventually use Peugeot technologies and platforms.
With Opel and Vauxhall now part of the PSA Group product portfolio, the company now becomes Europe's second biggest automaker.