PSA Group has confirmed that it is in talks with GM to take over the European Opel and UK Vauxhall businesses although it said “there can be no assurance that an agreement will be reached”.
The two carmakers have already been in an alliance since 2012 covering three projects in Europe, including production of minivans for both brands from Opel’s factory in Spain.
In an official statement, PSA Group said: “Within this framework, General Motors and PSA Group regularly examine additional expansion and cooperation possibilities, as well. PSA Group confirms that, together with General Motors, it is exploring numerous strategic initiatives aiming at improving its profitability and operational efficiency, including a potential acquisition of Opel / Vauxhall.”
The combined carmaker would have a European market share of about 16%.
GM previously held a 7% share in PSA, which was sold in 2013 as the French carmaker increased its ties with China’s Dongfeng Motor Corp. Both Dongfeng and the French government each hold 14% stakes in PSA along with the Peugeot family.
A deal between Opel and PSA could provide both carmakers with links to target markets.
Vishwas Shankar, research manager at Frost & Sullivan, said: “In the last eight years ever since GM retired or sold Saturn, Pontiac, Hummer, Saab, Opel in Europe was always waiting for a big announcement. With PSA in the driver seat, Opel might find a new address and parent in 2017. PSA’s interest in Opel could be the link to Russia (Opel targets Russia will be its biggest market in 2020) and comes on the back of the announcement that PSA has a new partner in India (Foray again) with a manufacturing arrangement with the CK Birla Group.”