Sold! GM Offloads Opel onto PSA Peugeot Citroen
General Motors has officially agreed to sell its Opel and Vauxhall brands to the PSA Group as the Detroit automaker attempts to stanch more than a decade of staggering losses in Europe.
According to a report by Reuters, the PSA Group (Peugeot and Citroën) approved the deal Friday, weeks after admitting it was seeking to buy the German and British brands that GM has owned for 86 and 91 years, respectively. The two companies are expected to announce the deal on Monday, Reuters said, and have resolved their competitive issues in China and the problem of Opel’s billions in pension liabilities.
It is unclear whether the sale indicates GM would essentially give up the Europe market. GM Europe, primarily the Opel and Vauxhall brands, has lost money for 16 consecutive years. Cadillac has close to zero market share there, and as of last year Chevrolet no longer sells any cars in Europe aside from the Corvette. Whether GM sells the Opel Vauxhall entirely (as Ford sold 100 percent of Jaguar and Land Rover to Tata) or completes a merger that would let it retain a stake in PSA, the two former GM brands will inevitably face aggressive cost-cutting measures that will further shed jobs, close factories, and shrink model lineups.