The brand Opel brings back memories of the lovely Astra, the wonky Corsa and the futuristic Vectra that took to the Indian roads in the nineties. However the lives of these cars were short lived as Opel shut shop in India towards the end of the second millennium.
And now its parent company GM looks ready to sell the Opel and UK’s Vauxhall to the company behind Peugeot after citing Brexit to be a hindrance in a bid to turn the loss-making division around. GM, the world’s third-largest carmaker and the biggest in the US, has suffered more than $15bn of losses at Opel since 2000. It nearly sold the division after going bankrupt in 2009 but reversed the decision in a bid to maintain a foothold in the potentially lucrative European market. It had hoped to break even by now, but posted an annual loss of $257m (£206m) for 2016 earlier this month.
GM and PSA Group already cooperate on the production of minivans and SUVs but their partnership was diminished in 2013 when GM sold a 7% stake in the French firm for £250m. But if the two firms opt for a sale, the combined might of the Peugeot, Citroën and Opel brands would see PSA Group overtake Renault to become Europe’s second-largest car firm behind Volkswagen.
While talks on the acquisition are on, 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.