General Motor’s is weighing its options to improve its situation in Europe, and one of them is potentially selling off its European Opel and Vauxhall brands to France’s PSA Group.
The American automaker has confirmed that it has been in talks with PSA Peugeot Citroen to unload its Opel and Vauxhall divisions, but nothing has been finalized. A company presser stated:
“PSA Group and General Motors confirm they are exploring numerous strategic initiatives aiming at improving profitability and operational efficiency, including a potential acquisition of Opel Vauxhall by PSA.”
GM added that “there can be no assurance that an agreement will be reached,” indicating that Opel and Vauxhall could remain under its umbrella.
GM and PSA entered into a partnership in 2012 when the former acquired a 7 percent stake in the latter for approximately $400 million. It was expected that the partnership would lead to $2 billion in purchasing an join development synergies annually, but those expectations were not met.
Although Opel and Vauxhall have been two of the weakest members of GM’s family, they have performed relatively well in recent months (they lost $300 million in Europe in 2016, an improvement over the $800 million loss recorded in 2015). And the fact that the Chevrolet brand is no longer a player in Europe means the company will be for all intents and purposes exiting the European market altogether if it sells off the division.
I am as surprised as you probably are at this development. Would it be smart for General Motors to sell off Opel and Vauxhall to PSA Peugeot Citroen? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Citroen C6 Has Been Revived for China Better Than Ever
Four years after the original model was cancelled in Europe, the Citroen C6 has been resurrected as a China-only model, making its world debut at the 2016 Beijing Motor Show.
The new C6 might very well be a Dongfeng Fengshen A9, which itself is based on PSA Peugeot Citroën’s EMP2 platform. It is less distinctively-styled than its predecessor, which , but comes across as a handsome executive sedan that will surely turn heads with its bold grille.
With an overall length of over 16 feet and a wheelbase of 9.5 feet, it offers more than enough roof four give passengers. The luxurious interior can be equipped with a 12-inch digital instrument cluster, a large touchscreen display for infotainment duties, Nappa leather seats, four-zone automatic climate control, and a panoramic sunroof.
The Citroen C6 is believed to be powered by a turbocharged 1.8-liter gasoline engine that produces 204 horsepower and 280 newton meters of torque, sent to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.
An even more luxurious DS-branded edition of the large sedan will likely be introduced later on.
French Automaker Citroen is Returning to North America with DS Brand
French automaker Citroen will return to North America (United States and Canada) with its new DS sub-brand after leaving the market nearly 30 years ago.
DS previously announced plans to introduce six new models by 2020, several of which will likely make their way across the Atlantic. While Citroen hasn’t made anything official, reports that the company has adopted a new strategy that involves the US.
It’s a long-term plan, so DS won’t be coming to America anytime soon. Eric Opode, the brand’s development boss, told the magazine:
“It’s not on the agenda today, but we may come to it. We proposed a strategy to be in the top 200 cities in the world, and that is what we are following. Wherever there is a premium market we want to be, so in the future we will clearly be targeting those cities.”
It has been reported that one of the new models will be a SUV-crossover targeted at the likes of the MINI Countryman. Interestingly, it won’t be a high-volume vehicle, with Opode explaining:
“Since starting DS one-and-a-half years ago we have made great progress, but we are not prepared to talk about volume. We have no crazy ambitions, we want to stabilize the brand step by step, to create a robust brand with a robust foundation. We will not be a volume brand.”
What do you think, does Citroen’s DS brand have a shot at making a name for itself in the U.S. and Canadian markets? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
French Automaker Citroen is Bringing DS Brand to America
French automotive group PSA Peugeot-Citroën has confirmed that it will bring its newly-formed premium DS brand to North America (United States and Canada) by the year 2020 or later.
The move is part of an ambitious global strategy that calls for the construction of DS showrooms in 200 of the world’s biggest and richest cities, of which 30 will be allocated to North America (20 to the U.S.).
PSA made DS a stand-alone brand in 2014; before that, it was a sub-brand of Citroen.
“We want to make DS a global premium brand, and you cannot be global without the U.S.,” DS CEO Yves Bonnefont told in an interview. He added that a decision to return stateside would be made in 2017 at the earliest, with sales not beginning until after 2020.
The DS name stems from Citroen’s iconic lineup produced from 1955 to 1975. Although Bonnefont didn’t reveal what cars will be offered in North America, the brand’s European and Chinese vehicles compete with premium models such as the Mini Cooper and Audi A3.
Citroen ceased operations in the United States in 1974, having packed its bags for a one way trip back to Europe after decades of slow sales and eventual non-compliancy with NHTSA regulations.
This is definitely a major development — the French are coming back to America. What do you think are their chances of succeeding this time around? Share your thoughts in the comments below.