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    PSA In Discussions With GM About Possibly Acquiring Opel

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    PSA Group is in discussions with General Motors on various strategic initiatives, including the possibility of acquiring Opel/Vauxhall. The news was first broke by Bloomberg and Reuters early this morning as sources revealed the two were in talks about swapping the ownership of Opel. Since then, a spokesman for PSA Group confirmed the talks.

    The maker of Peugeot, Citroen and DS cars is "exploring a number of strategic initiatives with GM with the aim of increasing its profitability and operating efficiency, including a potential acquisition of Opel."

    The two automakers already share production of SUVs and commercial vans, a key remnant of a possible alliance between the two automakers back in 2013.

    Why would GM sell Opel? Why is PSA Group interested in it? 

    “I can see why GM may possibly seek to sell its European division, which hasn’t made money in many years. It is less clear why Peugeot would be interested in buying GM’s assets. The purchase would give them capacity in Germany, one of the most expensive countries to produce cars and would lead to excess capacity,” said George Galliers, an analyst with Evercore ISI.

    For PSA Group, the purchase of Opel would give them access to Opel's engineering and electric-car tech, along with increasing their scale and cost savings from joint purchasing a source tells Bloomberg. 

    Source: Bloomberg, Reuters

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    So then were would the Buicks and Holdens come from?

    Does that mean all that work would come back to the good ol USA?

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    My take on this was shock at first but then a little more info appears to change the dynamic.

    #1 you can not look at this as a product deal as it is more economic and labor.

    Lets face it no matter how good GM makes the Opel it is a money looser due to labor and plant issues. Opel has been a big drain of money all along.

    It is reported that GM would remain a partner but not the principal. I some how wonder with the change in ownership PSA can close plants and renegotiate contracts with the unions GM can not do.

    I really do not see GM bailing on the global Buick/Opel/Vauxhall/Holden plans. While they may not own the whole thing they will own part of it and just put burden of dealing with the economics to PSA.  I have seen many companies do similar to clean house.

    Also while GM may not have as much profit potential they really will lose less money since they have been years from profit and the outlook is little chance of near term profit.

    Product wise I see little change but how business is done will change and as it is now that may not be a bad thing.

    GM is like a guy hanging on a hot pipe 50 feet over a tank of sharks. He has a choice to hang on and burn his hand till they are useless to swim. Or he can drop now before his hands are burned useless and try to swim out of the pool before the sharks get him. Neither choice is great but you take the one that has the best odds.

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    I have been watching this play out this morning. Buick and Holden would be impacted by this more than anyone else.  What about GM China? I do not know if I am favor of this as GM would have no role in Europe. Killing Pontiac and Oldsmobile solved what problem? 

    I would rather there be some sort of joint venture and sharing of resources than a right out buyout of Opel.  GM would be smaller than it is now. There are too many ramifications in this.  Ford is one Ford globally as Volkswagen is too.  

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    This seems odd to me.   Opel loses money because GM wants it to lose money.  So much R&D is coming out of Europe, but the other divisions are booking the profits from that R&D.  Swinging Opel from the red to the black is just a change in accounting practice. 

    I would think that GM buying up PSA and then merging operations with Opel would make more sense in the grand scheme of things.  

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    Drew, why should GM BUY PSA?

    The auto market in Europe has too many brands and too much capacity given low and falling sales.  GM has been leaving unprofitable markets ever since Mary Barra has been CEO, which is a good thing.  The European market will be in an auto recession before we are here in the USA.  Even though a lot of R&D is in Europe, that is NOT where the $$$ is.  If and only if auto capacity were cut in half, the auto market would begin to fully recover from the the last eight or nine years.  Opel may have its place, but shuttering planes in Germany is extremely difficult, especially compared to the USA.  Better to let PSA and VW fight over a shrinking market than play (and lose $$) in this space.

    As for killing Pontiac and Oldsmobile, the problem was that there were simply too many brands given a US market share of less than 30%.  If it was 1990 or earlier, both could be kept because they added to the bottom line.  I miss Olds but I have accepted that GM survival was more important, especially when GM ended Pontiac and Saab and Saturn and Hummer.  GM could not be what it was 25 years ago because of the Japanese and the Korean automakers period.  Same with MB, BMW and VW. 

    CEO Barra understands something we all should be cognizant of: smaller and more profitable (and higher free cash flow) is better.  No need to be huge and lumber towards a possible liquidation. Remember what happened to Chrysler after 1998, and the current fate of FCA points to a long-term end.

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    @riviera74 I believe Drew as do I see where you could bring in PSA, get the intellectual property rights and then close and consolidate Opel / PSA to have a strong Engineering division with some profitable auto's that are used across the company.

    I agree with you that Europe is ready I think for a consolidation in the auto business. China will be the next place for consolidation as right now way to many auto companies there too.

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    I think some of you forget GM used to own PSA. They sold them I believe in 2013.

    If such a deal is made GM has made it clear they would still be a partner in this deal. The truth is it is the opposite of what it was where GM was the primary they would change places and own the minority but still a sizeable chunk.

    I believe PSA being a true Euro company and also being a new owner will have leverage to do things about plants and labor GM already have their hands tied on.

    Too many people will look at this as a product deal and it is everything but.

    I expect that if this deal comes in we will see little change in GM product or plans for new models.

    Something has to give as they can not continue to lose money. They do not want to lose money in Opel as they have made changed to help but they are limited to what they can do.

    The thing today is not so much how big you are but how profitable and efficient you are. Like at a race track you can over drive the track and be slower or you can slow your lap and not over drive putting in a faster lap. It is the old go slow to go faster. It is all about efficiency.

    The 1800 pound gorilla in the room is while GM profits are up and things are going pretty well they need better stock performance. In fact many Automakers really need better stock performance. This is part of why there is such a rush to autonomous cars as everyone see it as a way to use technology to drive their stock.

    I think we need to really take a look at this with more info as it comes in but in the end while this is earth shaking in the headline I expect we will see little change in the products. Where they are built and who builds them may be the major change.

    FCA is way over capacity but they have major trouble closing their euro plants do to rules and unions.

    I see the sale as a reset for GM with out going though chapter 11 at Opel.

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    I hate to see GM sell off Opel/Vaux, but not making profit since 1999 still has to burn their ass no matter the tax benefits here in the US. GM.. may be gearing up for new negotiations with IG Metall. Also the loss of Opel at this point will have little effect on Buick or Holden simply because the engineering on those products are GM's.. they are not property of Opel. Furthermore I'd put American engineering up against the European any day of the week.. especially now. The only real loss will be that of 1.1 Million cars. This will effectively put them behind Renault/Nissan, or make them #4... but even with that.. GM made $12 Billion last year AFTER a loss of almost $1B in Europe

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    28 minutes ago, riviera74 said:

    Drew, why should GM BUY PSA?

    The auto market in Europe has too many brands and too much capacity given low and falling sales.  GM has been leaving unprofitable markets ever since Mary Barra has been CEO, which is a good thing.  The European market will be in an auto recession before we are here in the USA.  Even though a lot of R&D is in Europe, that is NOT where the $$$ is.  If and only if auto capacity were cut in half, the auto market would begin to fully recover from the the last eight or nine years.  Opel may have its place, but shuttering planes in Germany is extremely difficult, especially compared to the USA.  Better to let PSA and VW fight over a shrinking market than play (and lose $$) in this space.

    As for killing Pontiac and Oldsmobile, the problem was that there were simply too many brands given a US market share of less than 30%.  If it was 1990 or earlier, both could be kept because they added to the bottom line.  I miss Olds but I have accepted that GM survival was more important, especially when GM ended Pontiac and Saab and Saturn and Hummer.  GM could not be what it was 25 years ago because of the Japanese and the Korean automakers period.  Same with MB, BMW and VW. 

    CEO Barra understands something we all should be cognizant of: smaller and more profitable (and higher free cash flow) is better.  No need to be huge and lumber towards a possible liquidation. Remember what happened to Chrysler after 1998, and the current fate of FCA points to a long-term end.

    I'm not saying they should, I'm just saying that it would make more sense that way around than this way around. 

    Opel loses money only on paper.  Much of the best R&D for small cars and small engines comes out of GM Europe, and that R&D is spread globally.   If GMNA had to pay Opel a proper "licensing fee" for each 2.0T they sold, or each Encore.... if China had to pay a properly priced licensing fee for each Verano.... then Opel wouldn't be losing money. 

    It's a financial shell game. 

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    Just now, Drew Dowdell said:

    I'm not saying they should, I'm just saying that it would make more sense that way around than this way around. 

    Opel loses money only on paper.  Much of the best R&D for small cars and small engines comes out of GM Europe, and that R&D is spread globally.   If GMNA had to pay Opel a proper "licensing fee" for each 2.0T they sold, or each Encore.... if China had to pay a properly priced licensing fee for each Verano.... then Opel wouldn't be losing money. 

    It's a financial shell game. 

    So. What's the reason for this U think? Bluff for a different end game? Help from German Gov? Give Backs from Unions??? 

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    10 minutes ago, Cmicasa the Great said:

    So. What's the reason for this U think? Bluff for a different end game? Help from German Gov? Give Backs from Unions??? 

    Pressure on the German unions, pressure on the German government.  Trying to impress our own administration.

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    56 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Pressure on the German unions, pressure on the German government.  Trying to impress our own administration.

    I agree with all except the "impress Admin." I see no relevant reason why GM would give up its European ops to impress "the Orange" as he himself has global ops as well.. that are subject to the ins and outs of doing business in said countries. 

    I look at it as 

    1) Pressure Unions

    2) Pressure German and UK gov to give more subsidies and back them in pressuring unions

    3) possibly just getting rid of headache of Brexit and its impact on EU

    4) There is talk of GM possibly doing this to open the door to buying FCA.

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    " Adding SUVs and boosting market share were not key topics when talking about Opel a few years ago. Not when Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas and his team had classified Opel as the “single biggest threat” to GM’s long-term survival. According to their estimates, Opel and its UK sibling, Vauxhall, already had lost

    $16 billion in the previous dozen years and would bleed $1 billion more each year on average into the 2020s. "

    http://europe.autonews.com/article/20160131/ANE/160129856/how-opel-ford-will-make-europe-a-reliable-profit-source-after-years

    http://www.ien.com/operations/news/20852087/gm-may-have-buyer-for-moneylosing-opel

    Last year, Opel was a money loser to the tune of $.257Billion 

    Sell the perpetual money pit 

     

     

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    44 minutes ago, FordCosworth said:

    " Adding SUVs and boosting market share were not key topics when talking about Opel a few years ago. Not when Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas and his team had classified Opel as the “single biggest threat” to GM’s long-term survival. According to their estimates, Opel and its UK sibling, Vauxhall, already had lost

    $16 billion in the previous dozen years and would bleed $1 billion more each year on average into the 2020s. "

    http://europe.autonews.com/article/20160131/ANE/160129856/how-opel-ford-will-make-europe-a-reliable-profit-source-after-years

    http://www.ien.com/operations/news/20852087/gm-may-have-buyer-for-moneylosing-opel

    Last year, Opel was a money loser to the tune of $.257Billion 

    Sell the perpetual money pit 

     

     

    Again, it's an accounting shell game.  Opel is a major R&D center for GM and the products resulting from that R&D are sold globally. 

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    3 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    I'm not saying they should, I'm just saying that it would make more sense that way around than this way around. 

    Opel loses money only on paper.  Much of the best R&D for small cars and small engines comes out of GM Europe, and that R&D is spread globally.   If GMNA had to pay Opel a proper "licensing fee" for each 2.0T they sold, or each Encore.... if China had to pay a properly priced licensing fee for each Verano.... then Opel wouldn't be losing money. 

    It's a financial shell game. 

    Worldwide, Ford does the same thing you state with Ford of Europe. 

    And they are not going on 2 straight decades of losses.

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    Drew is right as this is an end around to get breaks in Germany from the government and Unions like I stated earlier. 

    PSA is a Euro company from France and has special consideration from other countries in European Union. 

    Germany is a bastard to do business in anymore and they have rejected GM's attempts for breaks. The Unions are worse than the UAW at their toughest.  Give control to the French and they can deliver like Lafayette did to Washington.

    GM is still going to MFG and engineer these cars as the French know better than to do it themselves outside the Diesels.

    We see things like this happen in this country in a way. Often trucking companies will close down and sell out to a new buyer. Yet they reopen with the same drivers in the same building and the same trucks. The also get breaks from cities to remain and they get a new cut deal with the unions.

    What GM is doing here is not a sure thing to work but they got nothing to lose.

    PSA and GM have had a good relation for years when GM owned them. Also they sold their control of part of them before.

    I see GM getting what they need better deals and I see PSA getting needed capital with more income and at some point GM will regain their share back. It is a win win for both companies if it works out. As it is both are losing money.

    As for Buick and Holden they will go on just as they have under GM control with cars engineered by Opel.

    Too often socialistic governments will drive companies into the ground. We saw it in England and now in Germany. They get heavy handed to the point they drive out business or break them as they see them as evil and then everyone suffers. California is doing just this to many companies and that is why they are leaving. That is also why half of California is now in Colorado and Oregon. 

    At least most here are getting to this same conclusion but on other web sites they are about to bust a blood vessel and thin Mary is the devil incarnate. They are really out in left field as they thing this is all about product and neglect the government and labor end. 

    Lets put it this way GM has little option here as if they let Opel fail Germany will not bail them out. 

    This is why companies in America file for bankruptcy. It is not a failure so much in many cases as it is a reset. 

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    A major difference in the US corporate environment and Europe's corporate environment is bankruptcy law.  Here you can reset (see GM in 2009 and its use of Section 363); in Europe bankruptcy tends to mean liquidation and a whole LOT of lawsuits since BK is about revenge not just money.

    If it is as bad as hyperv6 says it is for the people of Europe to think this way (i.e. excessive socialism AND a ridiculous sense of entitlement from corporate Europe), then much of corporate Europe should move a whole lot of their operations (not just a few factories) to the USA to save a whole lot of bother.  I doubt they will (unless Congress and the current administration end corporate taxation).  If I were running a European multinational, I would certainly consider a move to the USA as a lower-cost, less-regulated place to do any and all business and let the Old World deal with the consequences of no jobs and a very nasty recession to go along with the BK of their socialism and their governments.

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    5 hours ago, FordCosworth said:

    Worldwide, Ford does the same thing you state with Ford of Europe. 

    And they are not going on 2 straight decades of losses.

    I see what you mean here. What GM needs to do to me is consilidste brands and actually be more like Ford in the sense that they don't have as many brands already costs around more and more. Why not try and get rid of some of the EU brands and use more Chevy/Buick/GMC OR vise Vera's and use Opel here. Use their own version of OneFord. While tacky, it's effective. 

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    13 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    I see what you mean here. What GM needs to do to me is consilidste brands and actually be more like Ford in the sense that they don't have as many brands already costs around more and more. Why not try and get rid of some of the EU brands and use more Chevy/Buick/GMC OR vise Vera's and use Opel here. Use their own version of OneFord. While tacky, it's effective. 

    They already tried Chevrolet in Europe, it failed.   Opel/Vauxhall have been the European GM brands for so long that I couldn't see them changing names..

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    11 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    This seems odd to me.   Opel loses money because GM wants it to lose money.  So much R&D is coming out of Europe, but the other divisions are booking the profits from that R&D.  Swinging Opel from the red to the black is just a change in accounting practice. 

    I would think that GM buying up PSA and then merging operations with Opel would make more sense in the grand scheme of things.  

    Well, letting play around with Opel while they work in other places to make money might not be a bad idea. If GM continues some of the current successes at the moment, I could see them picking up PSA down the road....

    Would make sense if they plan not to worry about Europe and work on other markets instead....

    3 hours ago, hyperv6 said:

    Drew is right as this is an end around to get breaks in Germany from the government and Unions like I stated earlier. 

    PSA is a Euro company from France and has special consideration from other countries in European Union. 

    Germany is a bastard to do business in anymore and they have rejected GM's attempts for breaks. The Unions are worse than the UAW at their toughest.  Give control to the French and they can deliver like Lafayette did to Washington.

    GM is still going to MFG and engineer these cars as the French know better than to do it themselves outside the Diesels.

    We see things like this happen in this country in a way. Often trucking companies will close down and sell out to a new buyer. Yet they reopen with the same drivers in the same building and the same trucks. The also get breaks from cities to remain and they get a new cut deal with the unions.

    What GM is doing here is not a sure thing to work but they got nothing to lose.

    PSA and GM have had a good relation for years when GM owned them. Also they sold their control of part of them before.

    I see GM getting what they need better deals and I see PSA getting needed capital with more income and at some point GM will regain their share back. It is a win win for both companies if it works out. As it is both are losing money.

    As for Buick and Holden they will go on just as they have under GM control with cars engineered by Opel.

    Too often socialistic governments will drive companies into the ground. We saw it in England and now in Germany. They get heavy handed to the point they drive out business or break them as they see them as evil and then everyone suffers. California is doing just this to many companies and that is why they are leaving. That is also why half of California is now in Colorado and Oregon. 

    At least most here are getting to this same conclusion but on other web sites they are about to bust a blood vessel and thin Mary is the devil incarnate. They are really out in left field as they thing this is all about product and neglect the government and labor end. 

    Lets put it this way GM has little option here as if they let Opel fail Germany will not bail them out. 

    This is why companies in America file for bankruptcy. It is not a failure so much in many cases as it is a reset. 

    Yep-my other thought if things go south there.....

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    1 hour ago, riviera74 said:

    A major difference in the US corporate environment and Europe's corporate environment is bankruptcy law.  Here you can reset (see GM in 2009 and its use of Section 363); in Europe bankruptcy tends to mean liquidation and a whole LOT of lawsuits since BK is about revenge not just money.

    If it is as bad as hyperv6 says it is for the people of Europe to think this way (i.e. excessive socialism AND a ridiculous sense of entitlement from corporate Europe), then much of corporate Europe should move a whole lot of their operations (not just a few factories) to the USA to save a whole lot of bother.  I doubt they will (unless Congress and the current administration end corporate taxation).  If I were running a European multinational, I would certainly consider a move to the USA as a lower-cost, less-regulated place to do any and all business and let the Old World deal with the consequences of no jobs and a very nasty recession to go along with the BK of their socialism and their governments.

    Taxes here have been too high to move it all here but that is a door that could be opened. 

    Spain is going bankrupt and Greece has been in trouble. 

    England is tired of bailing others out with no say. France is not setting the world on fire. 

    There will be a time the Germans will tire of Merkle. The question is how tapped out will The be as they have really been the only solvent country. With the large run of incoming refugees and a sluggish economy it will not get better soon. If they are forced to bail out any others it will only hurt them more.

    I agree the timing is right to poach companies to come here and work with them. The only real problem here is just work ethic. We can not get people to show every day or pass a simple drug test. 

    We have a hard time even with good paying positions to get people that do not loose their job from missing too much time or getting nabbed in a very basic drug test. Keeping in mind these are the ones who could pass the background test due to the need to handed sensitive information.

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    2 hours ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    They already tried Chevrolet in Europe, it failed.   Opel/Vauxhall have been the European GM brands for so long that I couldn't see them changing names..

    Then they need to try harder.. try something that Europe and US both like. It seems to work for everybody else. 

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    PSA may try to use this purchase as a means to come back into the North American market.  Also, Europe does not have Chapter 11 BK in the same way that the U.S. does.

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    On 2/15/2017 at 10:48 AM, ocnblu said:

     

    Back on Topic, This is an interesting thought about PSA and GM. We could see the start of consolidation and hopefully a clean up of the over capacity in Europe.

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    On 2/15/2017 at 11:01 AM, ccap41 said:

     

     

    On 2/15/2017 at 11:09 AM, dfelt said:

     

    Back on Topic, This is an interesting thought about PSA and GM. We could see the start of consolidation and hopefully a clean up of the over capacity in Europe.

    The stock market has jumped at the speculation and Mary has gone to Germany to calm nerves.

    Over capacity is a major issue not only for GM but many automakers. FCA is in real bad shape in over capacity in Europe and they have no easy way out.

    Edited by Drew Dowdell

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      Providing the electric power for these new models is what GM calls Ultium batteries. Working together with its battery partner LG Chem, the Ultium batteries are large-format, pouch-style cells that can either be stacked vertically or horizontally in packs. This will allow more flexibility for engineers to design battery packs for vehicles.
      More important is the chemistry of the batteries. GM has reduced the amount Cobalt - an element used in the making of batteries that is becoming harder to find and expensive - by seventy percent. Instead, the batteries are using aluminum. This will hopefully bring down the price of the battery packs.
      Battery capacity will range from 50 to 200 kilowatt hours - giving a projected max range of 400 miles depending on the vehicle. Level II and DC fast-charging are both supported.
      The Vehicles
      At the event, GM had 10 vehicles on display and one shown via digital renderings. The current plan is to start launching the new models beginning later this year.
      Updated Chevrolet Bolt: The first vehicle to be launched in this offensive. It will get an updated interior with a more premium dash. Chevrolet Bolt EUV: The crossover-variant of the Bolt, it is about five-inches longer and rides on a wheelbase that has been stretched by three inches. An updated roofline reportedly eliminates the small front windows on the Bolt. The EUV will also be the first model outside of Cadillac to get Super Cruise. Chevrolet Midsize Crossover: About the same size as the Blazer, this model has an aggressive design and features a low roofline. A pair of 18-inch multimedia displays dominate the interior. Chevrolet Full-Size Truck: This was the model only shown in digital renderings according to those who were at the event. It will complement the Silverado and be aimed at those who want something to be used on a job site - not like the upcoming GMC Hummer Truck or Rivian which are aimed more at lifestyle folks. This model is expected to arrive in 2025. Buick Crossover and SUV: These two models didn't have a name and were wearing a design that was described by the Detroit Free Press as a "vaguely European look".  GMC Hummer Truck: This will only be available in a crew-cab configuration with a five-foot bed. The design will be utilitarian and boxy. Inside, two large screens will serve as the instrument cluster and infotainment system. Don't expect any leather as many of materials used inside will be made from recycled materials. The truck will also have removable roof panels (like the Jeep Wrangler, that can be stored in the front trunk. GMC Hummer SUV: Basically the same as the truck, albeit using a shorter wheelbase. Cadillac Lyriq: We have seen teasers of this model last year and Cadillac dropped another this week showing off the silhouette - reminding us some crossovers from Jaguar and Porsche. The vehicle is wide and rides on 23-inch wheels. Size-wise, it is similar to the XT5. The interior boasts a 34-inch-wide high-def screen and seating for four, though the production model may have seating for five. Cadillac Celestiq: A new four-door flagship sedan that has a long front end and a fastback rear according to those who saw the clay model. It will be hand-built and carry a six-figure pricetag. Cadillac Large SUV: About the size of an Escalade, it be complementary vehicle to it. The model will have a more traditional design than the other Cadillac EVs. Inside, it will boast large screens up front and three-rows of seating. Source: Roadshow, Detroit Free Press, The Drive, General Motors
      Press Release is on Page 2


      GM Reveals New Ultium Batteries and a Flexible Global Platform to Rapidly Grow its EV Portfolio
      WARREN, Mich. – Starting today, General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) is gathering hundreds of employees, dealers, investors, analysts, media and policymakers to share details of its strategy to grow the company’s electric vehicle (EV) sales quickly, efficiently and profitably.
      “Our team accepted the challenge to transform product development at GM and position our company for an all-electric future,” said Mary Barra, GM chairman and CEO. “What we have done is build a multi-brand, multi-segment EV strategy with economies of scale that rival our full-size truck business with much less complexity and even more flexibility.”
      The heart of GM’s strategy is a modular propulsion system and a highly flexible, third-generation global EV platform powered by proprietary Ultium batteries. They will allow the company to compete for nearly every customer in the market today, whether they are looking for affordable transportation, a luxury experience, work trucks or a high-performance machine.
      “Thousands of GM scientists, engineers and designers are working to execute an historic reinvention of the company,” said GM President Mark Reuss. “They are on the cusp of delivering a profitable EV business that can satisfy millions of customers.”
      Ultium Batteries and Propulsion System Highlights
      GM’s new Ultium batteries are unique in the industry because the large-format, pouch-style cells can be stacked vertically or horizontally inside the battery pack. This allows engineers to optimize battery energy storage and layout for each vehicle design. Ultium energy options range from 50 to 200 kWh, which could enable a GM-estimated range up to 400 miles or more on a full charge with 0 to 60 mph acceleration as low as 3 seconds. Motors designed in-house will support front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive and performance all-wheel drive applications. Ultium-powered EVs are designed for Level 2 and DC fast charging. Most will have 400-volt battery packs and up to 200 kW fast-charging capability while our truck platform will have 800-volt battery packs and 350 kW fast-charging capability. GM’s flexible, modular approach to EV development will drive significant economies of scale and create new revenue opportunities, including: 
      Continuous Improvement in Battery Costs: GM’s joint venture with LG Chem will drive battery cell costs below $100/kWh. The cells use a proprietary low cobalt chemistry and ongoing technological and manufacturing breakthroughs will drive costs even lower. Flexibility: GM’s all-new global platform is flexible enough to build a wide range of trucks, SUVs, crossovers, cars and commercial vehicles with outstanding design, performance, packaging, range and affordability. Capital Efficiency: GM can spend less capital to scale its EV business because it is able to leverage existing property, including land, buildings, tools and production equipment such as body shops and paint shops. Complexity Reduction: The vehicle and propulsion systems were designed together to minimize complexity and part counts beyond today’s EVs, which are less complex than conventional vehicles powered by internal combustion engines. For example, GM plans 19 different battery and drive unit configurations initially, compared with 550 internal combustion powertrain combinations available today. Rising Customer Acceptance: Third-party forecasters expect U.S. EV volumes to more than double from 2025 to 2030 to about 3 million units on average. GM believes volumes could be materially higher as more EVs are launched in popular segments, charging networks grow and the total cost of ownership to consumers continues to fall. New Sources of Revenue: By vertically integrating the manufacture of battery cells, the company can reach beyond its own fleet and license technology to others. The first generation of GM’s future EV program will be profitable. The initial programs will pave the way for further accretive growth. GM’s technology can be scaled to meet customer demand much higher than the more than 1 million global sales the company expects mid-decade.
      Upcoming Launches and Reveals
      Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC and Buick will all be launching new EVs starting this year. The next new Chevrolet EV will be a new version of the Bolt EV, launching in late 2020, followed by the 2022 Bolt EUV, launching Summer 2021. The Bolt EUV will be the first vehicle outside of the Cadillac brand to feature Super Cruise, the industry's first true hands-free driving technology for the highway, which GM will expand to 22 vehicles by 2023, including 10 by next year.
      The Cruise Origin, a self-driving, electric shared vehicle, shown to the public in January 2020 in San Francisco, was the first product revealed using GM’s third generation EV platform and Ultium batteries. Next will be the Cadillac Lyriq luxury SUV in April. Details about its launch will be shared then. The reveal of the Ultium-powered GMC HUMMER EV will follow on May 20. Production is expected to begin in Fall 2021 at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant, GM’s first assembly plant 100 percent dedicated to EV production.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      On Wednesday, General Motors invited a number of media to their tech center in Warren, MI for their EV Day event. The company is making a big bet on electric vehicles with 11 new vehicles rolling out by 2025, featuring a new electric modular platform and battery tech. Here's what we know.
      Third-Generation Electric Vehicle Platform
      Underpinning this massive push is GM's new third-generation EV platform (BEV3). The new platform was designed to provide flexibility for different vehicle types - ranging from compact cars to pickup trucks. Battery packs are designed to be mounted beneath the passenger compartment to allow for a lower center of gravity. This results in more passenger room and improved handling. The platform also allows for different drive configurations - front, rear, or all-wheel drive - depending on the vehicle.
      Ultium Battery Technology
      Providing the electric power for these new models is what GM calls Ultium batteries. Working together with its battery partner LG Chem, the Ultium batteries are large-format, pouch-style cells that can either be stacked vertically or horizontally in packs. This will allow more flexibility for engineers to design battery packs for vehicles.
      More important is the chemistry of the batteries. GM has reduced the amount Cobalt - an element used in the making of batteries that is becoming harder to find and expensive - by seventy percent. Instead, the batteries are using aluminum. This will hopefully bring down the price of the battery packs.
      Battery capacity will range from 50 to 200 kilowatt hours - giving a projected max range of 400 miles depending on the vehicle. Level II and DC fast-charging are both supported.
      The Vehicles
      At the event, GM had 10 vehicles on display and one shown via digital renderings. The current plan is to start launching the new models beginning later this year.
      Updated Chevrolet Bolt: The first vehicle to be launched in this offensive. It will get an updated interior with a more premium dash. Chevrolet Bolt EUV: The crossover-variant of the Bolt, it is about five-inches longer and rides on a wheelbase that has been stretched by three inches. An updated roofline reportedly eliminates the small front windows on the Bolt. The EUV will also be the first model outside of Cadillac to get Super Cruise. Chevrolet Midsize Crossover: About the same size as the Blazer, this model has an aggressive design and features a low roofline. A pair of 18-inch multimedia displays dominate the interior. Chevrolet Full-Size Truck: This was the model only shown in digital renderings according to those who were at the event. It will complement the Silverado and be aimed at those who want something to be used on a job site - not like the upcoming GMC Hummer Truck or Rivian which are aimed more at lifestyle folks. This model is expected to arrive in 2025. Buick Crossover and SUV: These two models didn't have a name and were wearing a design that was described by the Detroit Free Press as a "vaguely European look".  GMC Hummer Truck: This will only be available in a crew-cab configuration with a five-foot bed. The design will be utilitarian and boxy. Inside, two large screens will serve as the instrument cluster and infotainment system. Don't expect any leather as many of materials used inside will be made from recycled materials. The truck will also have removable roof panels (like the Jeep Wrangler, that can be stored in the front trunk. GMC Hummer SUV: Basically the same as the truck, albeit using a shorter wheelbase. Cadillac Lyriq: We have seen teasers of this model last year and Cadillac dropped another this week showing off the silhouette - reminding us some crossovers from Jaguar and Porsche. The vehicle is wide and rides on 23-inch wheels. Size-wise, it is similar to the XT5. The interior boasts a 34-inch-wide high-def screen and seating for four, though the production model may have seating for five. Cadillac Celestiq: A new four-door flagship sedan that has a long front end and a fastback rear according to those who saw the clay model. It will be hand-built and carry a six-figure pricetag. Cadillac Large SUV: About the size of an Escalade, it be complementary vehicle to it. The model will have a more traditional design than the other Cadillac EVs. Inside, it will boast large screens up front and three-rows of seating. Source: Roadshow, Detroit Free Press, The Drive, General Motors
      Press Release is on Page 2


      GM Reveals New Ultium Batteries and a Flexible Global Platform to Rapidly Grow its EV Portfolio
      WARREN, Mich. – Starting today, General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) is gathering hundreds of employees, dealers, investors, analysts, media and policymakers to share details of its strategy to grow the company’s electric vehicle (EV) sales quickly, efficiently and profitably.
      “Our team accepted the challenge to transform product development at GM and position our company for an all-electric future,” said Mary Barra, GM chairman and CEO. “What we have done is build a multi-brand, multi-segment EV strategy with economies of scale that rival our full-size truck business with much less complexity and even more flexibility.”
      The heart of GM’s strategy is a modular propulsion system and a highly flexible, third-generation global EV platform powered by proprietary Ultium batteries. They will allow the company to compete for nearly every customer in the market today, whether they are looking for affordable transportation, a luxury experience, work trucks or a high-performance machine.
      “Thousands of GM scientists, engineers and designers are working to execute an historic reinvention of the company,” said GM President Mark Reuss. “They are on the cusp of delivering a profitable EV business that can satisfy millions of customers.”
      Ultium Batteries and Propulsion System Highlights
      GM’s new Ultium batteries are unique in the industry because the large-format, pouch-style cells can be stacked vertically or horizontally inside the battery pack. This allows engineers to optimize battery energy storage and layout for each vehicle design. Ultium energy options range from 50 to 200 kWh, which could enable a GM-estimated range up to 400 miles or more on a full charge with 0 to 60 mph acceleration as low as 3 seconds. Motors designed in-house will support front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive and performance all-wheel drive applications. Ultium-powered EVs are designed for Level 2 and DC fast charging. Most will have 400-volt battery packs and up to 200 kW fast-charging capability while our truck platform will have 800-volt battery packs and 350 kW fast-charging capability. GM’s flexible, modular approach to EV development will drive significant economies of scale and create new revenue opportunities, including: 
      Continuous Improvement in Battery Costs: GM’s joint venture with LG Chem will drive battery cell costs below $100/kWh. The cells use a proprietary low cobalt chemistry and ongoing technological and manufacturing breakthroughs will drive costs even lower. Flexibility: GM’s all-new global platform is flexible enough to build a wide range of trucks, SUVs, crossovers, cars and commercial vehicles with outstanding design, performance, packaging, range and affordability. Capital Efficiency: GM can spend less capital to scale its EV business because it is able to leverage existing property, including land, buildings, tools and production equipment such as body shops and paint shops. Complexity Reduction: The vehicle and propulsion systems were designed together to minimize complexity and part counts beyond today’s EVs, which are less complex than conventional vehicles powered by internal combustion engines. For example, GM plans 19 different battery and drive unit configurations initially, compared with 550 internal combustion powertrain combinations available today. Rising Customer Acceptance: Third-party forecasters expect U.S. EV volumes to more than double from 2025 to 2030 to about 3 million units on average. GM believes volumes could be materially higher as more EVs are launched in popular segments, charging networks grow and the total cost of ownership to consumers continues to fall. New Sources of Revenue: By vertically integrating the manufacture of battery cells, the company can reach beyond its own fleet and license technology to others. The first generation of GM’s future EV program will be profitable. The initial programs will pave the way for further accretive growth. GM’s technology can be scaled to meet customer demand much higher than the more than 1 million global sales the company expects mid-decade.
      Upcoming Launches and Reveals
      Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC and Buick will all be launching new EVs starting this year. The next new Chevrolet EV will be a new version of the Bolt EV, launching in late 2020, followed by the 2022 Bolt EUV, launching Summer 2021. The Bolt EUV will be the first vehicle outside of the Cadillac brand to feature Super Cruise, the industry's first true hands-free driving technology for the highway, which GM will expand to 22 vehicles by 2023, including 10 by next year.
      The Cruise Origin, a self-driving, electric shared vehicle, shown to the public in January 2020 in San Francisco, was the first product revealed using GM’s third generation EV platform and Ultium batteries. Next will be the Cadillac Lyriq luxury SUV in April. Details about its launch will be shared then. The reveal of the Ultium-powered GMC HUMMER EV will follow on May 20. Production is expected to begin in Fall 2021 at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant, GM’s first assembly plant 100 percent dedicated to EV production.
    • By William Maley
      General Motors will be bringing back the Hummer name to sell a new electric truck as part of the GMC lineup.
      The Wall Street Journal first broke the news yesterday with GM moving forward on plans to bring Hummer back that was first reported back in June. The report also said that the company would tout the return with a Super Bowl ad featuring NBA star LeBron James. GM declined to comment.
      The decision is likely due to the planned $3 billion investment for the Detroit-Hamtramck plant that we reported back in October. The investment is to gear up the plant to build an electric pickup for GMC and an electric Cadillac SUV by 2023. But in 2021, the plant will produce a "low volume BT1 pickup" under a different brand. At the time we speculated that it may be Hummer. This seems to lineup with the reporting done by the Wall Street Journal which says the truck will be similar in design to the Jeep Renegade.
      Bloomberg adds that there are plans for a large SUV for Hummer if the truck proves successful according to sources. The sources also say that the company is considering selling the new Hummer truck in existing dealers under the name of “Hummer by GMC.”
      Source: Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required), Automotive News (Subscription Required)
      H/T to @balthazar for alerting us to this story

      View full article
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