Picture: Wolfgang Rattay / Reuters.

Brussels - The European Commission has approved the acquisition of loss-making carmaker Opel by Peugeot (PSA).

In March, PSA agreed to buy Opel from General Motors for 2.2 billion euros (R33.5bn).

Given that PSA and Opel are both active in the manufacturing of passenger and so-called light commercial vehicles, the commission decided to look at the impact of the transaction on the markets at both the European and national levels.

Following an investigation, the commission concluded that the transaction would raise no competition concerns in the relevant markets.

PSA is set to acquire sole control of the whole of Opel. The move triggered fears of job losses at Opel, which has 38 000 employees in seven European countries.

From a product point of view, future Peugeot and Opel models will share platforms and technologies, with Opel's latest crossovers, the Crossland X and Grandland X already being based on respective Peugeot 2008 and 3008 models through previous deals between PSA and GM.

The Opel takeover deal brings to an end GM's 90-year-relationship with Opel, which last year posted a loss of 241 million euros (R3.7bn) after years of tough competition.

The move means the GM has pulled out of Europe altogether, and has also divested from South Africa, while the Williams Hunt Group will take over local distribution of the Opel brand from 2018 onwards.

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