Vishwas Shankar | Research Manager
As early as 2012, Opel’s parent company, GM, and PSA decided to work together, by GM taking a 7% stake in PSA. GM sold its stakes in PSA in December 2013. However, since 2012 there was a strong will to collaborate from both GM and PSA. This came in the form of bringing synergies of engineering, manufacturing, purchasing within the key vehicle segments.
In 2013, Opel opened a factory in Spain to manufacture minivans, which also producedfor PSA/Peugeot-Citroen. Manufacturing synergies targeted by Opel as well as by PSA are clearly evident. This was a marriage of convenience where the platform from PSA, powertrain from PSA and project engineering team from Opel came together. With this also came the synergies targeted from supply chain sourcing and shipping parts together for both brands. Clearly underutilised assets were target to improve plant utilisation. PSA was in the driver seat here.
In the last four years the two companies PSA and Opel were able to come to a number of consensuses such as the joint development of small gasoline engines, build together a compact crossover utility vehicle instead not to focus on a subcompact car. GM was in the driver seat here offering the G2XX platform for this development.
Later, PSA and Opel were also expected to grow together with plans for markets such as India, Brazil even sending waves as early as June 2015 that PSA could buy out Opel. But then this buy out was turned down by top management of Opel in 2015. Since 2016 cutting-costs and targeting at least 3 models from joint activities were in the focus.
In 2017, GM is on a growth path under its strong leadership – each of its “core four” brands Cadillac, Buick (stronger growth in China), GMC and Chevrolet growing year on year. In the last 8 years ever since GM retired or sold Saturn, Pontiac, Hummer, Saab, Opel in Europe was 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 and the country is expected to be its biggest market in 2020. Moreover, the news come 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.
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