William Maley

Opel/Vauxhall News: PSA In Discussions With GM About Possibly Acquiring Opel

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William Maley    405

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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dfelt    1,860

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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hyperv6    774

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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Drew Dowdell    5,155

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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riviera74    182

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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dfelt    1,860

@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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hyperv6    774

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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Drew Dowdell    5,155
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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Drew Dowdell    5,155
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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FordCosworth    128

" 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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Drew Dowdell    5,155
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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FordCosworth    128
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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hyperv6    774

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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riviera74    182

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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ccap41    1,221
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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daves87rs    349
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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hyperv6    774
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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ccap41    1,221
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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aurora97    60

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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dfelt    1,860
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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      There are concerns if the strike goes long-term. The popularity of the Equinox and Terrain has been booming thanks to the large increase in crossovers. Data from Automotive News shows that Chevrolet dealers in U.S. had about a 53 day supply of Equinoxes at the start of the month, well below the 74-day supply last month. While GM also builds the Equinox in two plants in Mexico, CAMI is where the majority of the models are built. Through August, the San Luis Potosi and Ramos Arizpe plants in Mexico built a combined total of 40,017 units. Meanwhile at CAMI, 132,288 Equinox models rolled off the line. Losing CAMI for a time could mean a tighter supply of Equinox models.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), The Truth About Cars
    • By William Maley
      Only a month ago, the automotive world was abuzz when a rumor came out that a Chinese automaker had a put in a bid for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. We also learned about four possible Chinese automakers that were supposedly interested. But after this rumor came out, most of the Chinese automakers stepped back and said they were not interested. The only one that expressed some interest was Great Wall, but only for Jeep. Since then, they have taken a few steps back.
      It seems no one is interested in FCA, a fact that was confirmed by CEO Sergio Marchionne.
      According to Reuters, Marchionne said no when asked about if FCA was approached by someone or there was an offer on the table. Lord knows that Marchionne has tried to get someone interested in picking up FCA with such attempts as trying to sell GM's CEO Mary Barra on the idea or Volkswagen. Still, Marchionne isn't giving up. He said the company is working on a plan to “purify” (or streamline) its portfolio.
      “There are activities within the group that do not belong to a car manufacturer, for example, the components businesses. The group needs to be cleared of those things,” Marchionne said.
      What will not be leaving FCA's portfolio is Alfa Romeo and Maserati. Last month, a rumor came out that FCA was considering spinning off Alfa Romeo and Maserati into their own separate company. 
      “The way we see it now, it’s almost impossible, if not impossible, to see a spin-off of Alfa Romeo/Maserati, these are two entities that are immature and in a development phase,” said Marchionne.
      “It’s the wrong moment, we are not in a condition to do it.”
      That last line might be the understatement of the decade.
      Source: Reuters

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