Less than a year after it was fully taken over by Groupe PSA, Vauxhall Opel is profitable again – after sustaining many years of losses under GM ownership.
The division has posted an impressive operating margin of 5 percent in the first half of 2018, a performance Groupe PSA Chairman Carlos Tavares suggested was the start of even stronger performances to come.
The Vauxhall Opel profit contributed to an overall 7.8 percent Groupe PSA operating margin of €3 billion – because the French firm’s home brands performed even more strongly, with an operating margin for Peugeot, Citroen and DS Automobiles of 8.5 percent. That’s premium car levels (although the organisation didn’t split the figures down to reveal how each individual brand performed…).
Speaking of the results, Tavares said: “The Group demonstrates since 2014 its recurring ability to level up global profitability, efficiency and volumes, despite strong headwinds. Our agility and strong focus on execution remain a strong assert to reach our targets.”
And Vauxhall Opel? The teams there have started “to deliver good results to build the New Opel Vauxhall, and are eager to unleash further potential.” An operating income of more than half a billion Euros is a good place to start.
The PSA figures come as evidence emerges Vauxhall/Opel is rebalancing its model mix. Latest 2018 first-half figures from JATO show a 15 percent decline in sales for the high-volume Corsa, and a staggering 33 percent fall for the Vauxhall Astra.
However, the Crossland X small SUV (pictured above) was identified as one of the region’s fastest-growing models, and a UK spokesman revealed the Grandland X compact SUV is actually the firm’s second best-selling car at the moment, behind only the Corsa.
Both command higher margins than Vauxhall’s traditional low-margin fleet-focused models – something that is clearly already helping to turn around the long loss-making firm’s fortunes.