It's official: Peugeot now owns Opel

By AP and Motoring Staff Time of article published Aug 1, 2017

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Paris - The maker of Peugeot and Citroen cars has finalised its 2.2-billion euro (R34.5-billion) takeover of General Motors' European brands Opel and Vauxhall, and named new management to chart an attempted turnaround plan.

In March, PSA agreed to buy Opel from General Motors and earlier this month the European Commission approved the acquisition after concluding that the transaction would raise no competition concerns.

France-based PSA Group said in a statement on Tuesday that the new executives would present the plan in 100 days. Opel is aiming for a return to profit in 2020 after years of losses.

The carmakers hope to save up to 1.7 billion euros annually thanks to the takeover, notably on purchasing and research and development.

PSA Chairman Carlos Tavares insisted that "Opel will remain German, and Vauxhall will remain British."

PSA becomes Europe's second largest carmaker with the closing of the deal, behind Volkswagen.

From a product point of view, future Peugeot and Opel models will share platforms and technologies, with Opel's latest crossovers, the Crossland Xand 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 in 2016 year posted a loss of 241 million euros (R3.7 billion) 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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