The sale of Vauxhall/Opel from General Motors to PSA Group has been completed ahead of what Opel chief Michael Lohscheller is describing as a “historic day”.
The deal makes PSA the second biggest car manufacturer in Europe behind Volkswagen Group, accounting for a market share of 17 percent.
“We are proud to join Groupe PSA and are now opening a new chapter in our history after 88 years with General Motors,” said Lohscheller. “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.”
PSA announced plans to buy Vauxhall and sister company Opel in March as part of a £1.9 billion deal. Since then, speculation about the future of Vauxhall’s UK plants in Luton and Ellesmere Port has been rife – with the company refusing to comment about potential job losses.
Cost cutting and streamlining is a priority for the firm’s new owners, though, with a goal of two percent profit by 2020 and six percent by 2026.
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PSA chairman Carlos Tavares said: “We are witnessing the birth of a true European champion today. 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.”
As the deal comes to a close, PSA has announced a number of new appointments for its management team.
- Christian Müller, previously vice president global propulsion systems – Europe and with Opel since 1996, succeeds William F. Bertagni as vice president engineering.
- Rémi Girardon, previously senior vice president group industrial strategy at PSA, will succeed Philip R. Kienle as vice president of manufacturing.
- Philippe de Rovira, previously group controller at PSA, replaces Michael Lohscheller as chief financial officer.
- Michelle Wen, group supply chain management network director at Vodafone procurement, will be joining the Opel leadership team, replacing Katherine Worthen as vice president of purchasing and supply chain.
PSA has been working with Opel/Vauxhall since 2012. The first collaboration, the Vauxhall Crossland X, is now on sale, with the Grandland X SUV set to follow later in the year.