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  1. PSA Group has been hard at work on its plan to return to the U.S. by 2026. They already have a brand chosen that will lead the launch (bur aren't saying if it will be Citroen, DS, Peugeot, or the recently acquired Opel/Vauxhall) and has open their U.S. headquarters in Georgia. The next step is figuring out where they'll begin selling vehicles. Larry Dominique, CEO of PSA Group North America told reporters that he has his eyes on 15 states to launch. Among the states mentioned include, Arizona California Florida Georgia Illinois Maryland Massachusetts New Hampshire New Jersey New York North Carolina Texas Virginia Washington "Those states are of the most interest to me at this point in time because they're high volume and import receptive," Dominique told Automotive News. But there is an elephant in the room concerning PSA's plan, tariffs. As we have been reporting for the past couple of months, the U.S. Commerce Department is conducting an investigation into imported cars and car parts as a matter of national security. This could result in vehicles being hit with a 25 percent tariff. “Tariffs are on our minds. Tariffs impact how fast and at what price point we import vehicles into the U.S. I’m crossing my fingers," said Dominique. According to Bloomberg, PSA Group could look into entering the Canadian market first and play the waiting game for the U.S. if tariffs do go into effect. The company may also offer more expensive vehicles to balance out the hit made by tariffs. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Bloomberg View full article
  2. PSA Group has been hard at work on its plan to return to the U.S. by 2026. They already have a brand chosen that will lead the launch (bur aren't saying if it will be Citroen, DS, Peugeot, or the recently acquired Opel/Vauxhall) and has open their U.S. headquarters in Georgia. The next step is figuring out where they'll begin selling vehicles. Larry Dominique, CEO of PSA Group North America told reporters that he has his eyes on 15 states to launch. Among the states mentioned include, Arizona California Florida Georgia Illinois Maryland Massachusetts New Hampshire New Jersey New York North Carolina Texas Virginia Washington "Those states are of the most interest to me at this point in time because they're high volume and import receptive," Dominique told Automotive News. But there is an elephant in the room concerning PSA's plan, tariffs. As we have been reporting for the past couple of months, the U.S. Commerce Department is conducting an investigation into imported cars and car parts as a matter of national security. This could result in vehicles being hit with a 25 percent tariff. “Tariffs are on our minds. Tariffs impact how fast and at what price point we import vehicles into the U.S. I’m crossing my fingers," said Dominique. According to Bloomberg, PSA Group could look into entering the Canadian market first and play the waiting game for the U.S. if tariffs do go into effect. The company may also offer more expensive vehicles to balance out the hit made by tariffs. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Bloomberg
  3. PSA Group's decade-long plan of possibly returning to the U.S. continues forward and they are facing their next roadblock, setting up a dealer network. Trying to convince dealers to sell brands that haven't been sold since the early nineties. But the French automaker believes they have a solution, using a tech-centric approach that will be affordable. "We see the high cost of doing this business; we see the challenges that exist in profitability for dealers and OEMs. We believe with the new tools, the new technology, the new customer expectations, there are leaner, more agile ways to do this," said PSA North America chief Larry Dominique to Automotive News. "We need to find a way to reduce our fixed costs. We want people to make a profit selling a new car." A possible strategy could look similar to Hyundai's Shopper Assurance where a customer can do a number of tasks at home such as scheduling a test drive, apply for financing, and complete paperwork. There are things that will benefit from a physical presence such as service and vehicle delivery. Dominique said that he will not be asking those who decide to sell whatever brand PSA Group has in mind to go crazy with building a facility. The bit about making a profit with selling a new vehicle is important here. Data from the National Automobile Dealers Association reveals that new vehicle losses for dealers rose $22 per car in 2015 to $421 in 2017. Used cars got hit worse with dealers losing $2 per car in 2017, from making $132 only three years ago. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  4. PSA Group's decade-long plan of possibly returning to the U.S. continues forward and they are facing their next roadblock, setting up a dealer network. Trying to convince dealers to sell brands that haven't been sold since the early nineties. But the French automaker believes they have a solution, using a tech-centric approach that will be affordable. "We see the high cost of doing this business; we see the challenges that exist in profitability for dealers and OEMs. We believe with the new tools, the new technology, the new customer expectations, there are leaner, more agile ways to do this," said PSA North America chief Larry Dominique to Automotive News. "We need to find a way to reduce our fixed costs. We want people to make a profit selling a new car." A possible strategy could look similar to Hyundai's Shopper Assurance where a customer can do a number of tasks at home such as scheduling a test drive, apply for financing, and complete paperwork. There are things that will benefit from a physical presence such as service and vehicle delivery. Dominique said that he will not be asking those who decide to sell whatever brand PSA Group has in mind to go crazy with building a facility. The bit about making a profit with selling a new vehicle is important here. Data from the National Automobile Dealers Association reveals that new vehicle losses for dealers rose $22 per car in 2015 to $421 in 2017. Used cars got hit worse with dealers losing $2 per car in 2017, from making $132 only three years ago. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  5. Ever since PSA Group announced that it would be making a return the U.S. as part of a 10-year plan, there has been a large amount of speculation as to which brand would be sold. Would it be Citroen, DS, Peugeot, or the recently acquired Opel/Vauxhall? “We’ve chosen a brand, but it’s too early to talk about it,” said Larry Dominique, president and CEO of PSA North America to Car and Driver. PSA Group is still in the first phase of its plan with the Free2Move mobility aggregation platform (shows various ways of getting around such as bikes and electric vehicles) in Seattle. Somewhat worrying is that the company has only “activated its marketing” in Seattle recently according to Dominique - Free2Move launched back in October. Out of all of the brands under PSA Group, Car and Driver says there is a good chance that Opel could be the brand coming to the U.S. They point out a comment made by PSA Group CEO Carlos Tavares saying after purchasing Opel/Vauxhall is that Opel engineers can “ensure the future products for this market will be fully U.S. compliant,” in terms of regulations and taste. But there is a possible complication to PSA's plans. Yesterday, President Donald Trump's tariffs on imported steel and aluminum went into effect. There is also talk about a possibly matching up the tariff on imported vehicles - currently, the U.S. imposes a 2.5 percent tariff on imported European vehicles. Earlier this month, Tavares told Automotive News that he is watching the situation closely and that if a new vehicle tariff does come, it will make the company rethink their plans. “If the overall framework of tariffs change, it may have an impact on our strategy. That’s clear, because if we don’t have a profitable business plan, then we don’t go,” said Tavares. Dominique is a little bit more hopeful. Speaking at the J.D. Power Automotive Summit this week, Dominique said he doesn't believe an increase in the tariff will happen and expressed confidence that the various trade issues could be worked out. Source: Car and Driver, Automotive News (Subscription Required), 2 View full article
  6. Ever since PSA Group announced that it would be making a return the U.S. as part of a 10-year plan, there has been a large amount of speculation as to which brand would be sold. Would it be Citroen, DS, Peugeot, or the recently acquired Opel/Vauxhall? “We’ve chosen a brand, but it’s too early to talk about it,” said Larry Dominique, president and CEO of PSA North America to Car and Driver. PSA Group is still in the first phase of its plan with the Free2Move mobility aggregation platform (shows various ways of getting around such as bikes and electric vehicles) in Seattle. Somewhat worrying is that the company has only “activated its marketing” in Seattle recently according to Dominique - Free2Move launched back in October. Out of all of the brands under PSA Group, Car and Driver says there is a good chance that Opel could be the brand coming to the U.S. They point out a comment made by PSA Group CEO Carlos Tavares saying after purchasing Opel/Vauxhall is that Opel engineers can “ensure the future products for this market will be fully U.S. compliant,” in terms of regulations and taste. But there is a possible complication to PSA's plans. Yesterday, President Donald Trump's tariffs on imported steel and aluminum went into effect. There is also talk about a possibly matching up the tariff on imported vehicles - currently, the U.S. imposes a 2.5 percent tariff on imported European vehicles. Earlier this month, Tavares told Automotive News that he is watching the situation closely and that if a new vehicle tariff does come, it will make the company rethink their plans. “If the overall framework of tariffs change, it may have an impact on our strategy. That’s clear, because if we don’t have a profitable business plan, then we don’t go,” said Tavares. Dominique is a little bit more hopeful. Speaking at the J.D. Power Automotive Summit this week, Dominique said he doesn't believe an increase in the tariff will happen and expressed confidence that the various trade issues could be worked out. Source: Car and Driver, Automotive News (Subscription Required), 2
  7. PSA Group CEO Carlos Tavares told attendees of the Automotive News World Congress yesterday they are employing the know-how from Opel engineers to develop vehicles for the U.S. market. Tavares declined to say which brand will lead the charge but did hint that future Opel models would be engineered to be compliant with U.S. regulations. Launching one of PSA Group's brands will be the last step in the company's 10-year plan of re-entering the U.S. market. Already, PSA is offering mobility services in parts of the U.S. and will launch a car sharing service in two to three big cities within the year. “A 10-year plan gives us the appropriate time to properly understand this crucial market and launch the right products and services,” said Tavares. Travares also revealed that PSA is planning to offer all of its vehicles with some sort of electrification option (electric, plug-in hybrid, and hybrid) by 2025. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Reuters via Autoblog
  8. PSA Group CEO Carlos Tavares told attendees of the Automotive News World Congress yesterday they are employing the know-how from Opel engineers to develop vehicles for the U.S. market. Tavares declined to say which brand will lead the charge but did hint that future Opel models would be engineered to be compliant with U.S. regulations. Launching one of PSA Group's brands will be the last step in the company's 10-year plan of re-entering the U.S. market. Already, PSA is offering mobility services in parts of the U.S. and will launch a car sharing service in two to three big cities within the year. “A 10-year plan gives us the appropriate time to properly understand this crucial market and launch the right products and services,” said Tavares. Travares also revealed that PSA is planning to offer all of its vehicles with some sort of electrification option (electric, plug-in hybrid, and hybrid) by 2025. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Reuters via Autoblog View full article
  9. Ever since PSA Group took ownership of Opel and Vauxhall back in spring, many were wondering what the French automaker had in store. Today at a press conference at Opel's headquarters, Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller unveiled the turnaround called PACE. Here is a summary of PACE, Return Opel and Vauxhall to profit by 2020 Lowering costs on each car built by €700 (about $813) Committed to keeping Vauxhall as a brand for Great Britain Entering 20 new markets by 2022, with Brazil and China topping the list Accelerating the transition from General Motors to PSA Group platforms (originally was planned to finish by 2027, now plan to finish by 2024). This will reduce the number of platforms Opel/Vauxhall use from nine to two. Powertrain families will also decrease from ten to four Nine new models by 2020. This begins with a new Combo van next year and Corsa subcompact in 2019 Launching four electrified models by 2020, with an electrified option being available for each model by 2024 According to Lohscheller, the existing product strategy would not meet the upcoming CO2 targets coming into effect. Thus the decision was made to move up plans for electrification Opel's technical center in Ruesselsheim will engineer all-new Opel/Vauxhall vehicles to have them stand out from their Citroen/DS/Peugeot brethren Ruesselheim will also become a global competence center for PSA, building up expertise in various areas such as autonomous driving and fuel cells Pledging to avoid closing down factories or forced layoffs "The necessary and sustainable reduction of labour costs shall be reached with thoughtful measures such as innovative working time concepts, voluntary programs or early retirement schemes,” the company said in a statement. “PACE! will unleash our full potential. This plan is paramount for the company, to protect our employees against headwinds and turn Opel/Vauxhall into a sustainable, profitable, electrified, and global company. Our future will be secured and we will contribute with German excellence to the Groupe PSA development. The implementation has already started with all teams eager to achieve the objectives,” said Lohscheller in a statement. But will it be enough? As Reuters noted, shares in PSA Group dropped 2.2 percent to €19.68 (about $22.65) after Carlos Tavares said Opel's financial health has been getting worse as PACE! was being drawn up. “The situation gets worse by the day,” Travares said, without going into detail. Source: Autocar, Car, Reuters, Opel Press Release is on Page 2 Opel/Vauxhall Go Profitable, Electric and Global with PACE! Return to profitability by 2020: 2% automotive recurring operating margin, positive operational free cash flow[1] Lower financial break-even point to 800,000 vehicles Electrification and CO2 leadership: All passenger carlines to be electrified by 2024 Improve efficiency towards benchmark levels for manufacturing and logistics cost as well as for wage cost/revenue-ratio Intention to maintain and modernise all plants and to refrain from forced redundancies R&D centre in Rüsselsheim to become a global competence centre for Groupe PSA Enlarge commercial scope: Leverage Opel brand for overseas export opportunities and foster growth of Opel/Vauxhall LCV business PACE! execution to immediately unleash Opel/Vauxhall performance and pave the way to a sustainable future Rüsselsheim. Michael Lohscheller, CEO of Opel Automobile GmbH, today announced the strategic plan PACE! to restore financial fundamentals and enhance sustainable competitiveness and growth. All PACE! initiatives will contribute to the goals of generating a positive operational free cash flow as well as a recurring operating margin for the auto division of 2% in a first phase by 2020 and of 6% by 2026. Combining strengths will unleash annual synergies on Groupe PSA level of €1.1 billion by 2020 and €1.7 billion by 2026. All actions will contribute to a lower financial break-even point for Opel/Vauxhall of 800,000 vehicles, creating a profitable business model whatever the headwinds may be. Having full access to Groupe PSA technologies, Opel/Vauxhall will become a European CO2 leader. By 2024, all European passenger carlines will be electrified – offering a pure battery electric propulsion or plug-in hybrid version alongside efficient internal combustion engines. By 2020, Opel/Vauxhall will have four electrified carlines on the market, including the Grandland X PHEV and the next generation Corsa as a fully electric vehicle. The company will enhance its competitiveness by 2020 e.g. by reducing costs by €700 per car. Efficiency of marketing expenses will be improved by more than 10%. Overall efficiencies will be increased by reducing complexity across all functions with a ratio G&A/revenue moving from 5.6% to 4.7% and an objective to bring the company towards industry benchmark in terms of wage cost/revenue ratio. Optimising R&D and CapEx at 7-8% of automotive revenue, manufacturing and administration processes by 2020 and releasing working capital of €1.2 billion by 2022 will also contribute to seizing synergies. Improved competitiveness of the manufacturing plants will lead to new vehicle allocations that will provide a better utilisation rate for the next decade. The two Groupe PSA platforms CMP and EMP2 will be localised in all Opel/Vauxhall plants. To start with, an EMP2-based SUV is planned for Eisenach in 2019; and an EMP2-based D-segment vehicle is coming to Rüsselsheim. The allocation of new powertrains in Opel/Vauxhall manufacturing sites will accompany the shift from GM to Groupe PSA engines and transmissions. “PACE! will unleash our full potential. This plan is paramount for the company, to protect our employees against headwinds and turn Opel/Vauxhall into a sustainable, profitable, electrified, and global company. Our future will be secured and we will contribute with German excellence to the Groupe PSA development. The implementation has already started with all teams eager to achieve the objectives,” said Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller. The plan is designed with the clear intention to maintain all plants and refrain from forced redundancies in Europe. The necessary and sustainable reduction of labour costs shall be reached with thoughtful measures such as innovative working time concepts, voluntary programs or early retirement schemes. All new Opel/Vauxhall vehicles will be engineered in Rüsselsheim, which will be transformed into a global competence centre for the whole Groupe PSA. First areas of expertise are identified, e.g. fuel cells, certain automated driving technologies and driver assistance developments. This will further guarantee German engineering quality and affordable innovations. Altogether, the number of platforms Opel/Vauxhall uses for its passenger cars will be reduced from currently 9 to 2 by 2024. Furthermore, the powertrain families will be optimised from currently 10 to 4. “Aligning architecture and powertrain families will substantially reduce development and production complexity, thus allowing scale effects and synergies, contributing to overall profitability,” said Lohscheller. Opel/Vauxhall will switch to efficient and flexible Groupe PSA vehicle architectures faster than originally expected. From 2024 onwards, all Opel/Vauxhall passenger car models will be based on joint Groupe PSA architectures. Next to come are the Combo in 2018 and the next generation of the bestselling Corsa in 2019. This course will be steadily continued with one major launch per year. Counting every body style, Opel/Vauxhall will launch 9 new models by 2020. This line-up will enable to increase the pricing power of Opel/Vauxhall brands and reduce the gap against benchmark by four points. Sales growth of the further profiled and strengthened Opel/Vauxhall brands will be supported by initiatives like the start of even more attractive financial offerings as well as full service leasing offers via the Financial Services of Opel and Vauxhall. Furthermore, Opel will enter more than 20 new export markets by 2022. Beyond that, Opel will explore global midterm overseas profitable export opportunities. To foster growth in the financially attractive light commercial vehicle (LCV) business, Opel/Vauxhall will launch new models and enter new markets with the clear goal to increase its LCV sales by 25% by 2020 against 2017. “PACE! has been designed by Opel/Vauxhall for the benefit of our employees as an immediate performance booster,” said Lohscheller. View full article
  10. Ever since PSA Group took ownership of Opel and Vauxhall back in spring, many were wondering what the French automaker had in store. Today at a press conference at Opel's headquarters, Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller unveiled the turnaround called PACE. Here is a summary of PACE, Return Opel and Vauxhall to profit by 2020 Lowering costs on each car built by €700 (about $813) Committed to keeping Vauxhall as a brand for Great Britain Entering 20 new markets by 2022, with Brazil and China topping the list Accelerating the transition from General Motors to PSA Group platforms (originally was planned to finish by 2027, now plan to finish by 2024). This will reduce the number of platforms Opel/Vauxhall use from nine to two. Powertrain families will also decrease from ten to four Nine new models by 2020. This begins with a new Combo van next year and Corsa subcompact in 2019 Launching four electrified models by 2020, with an electrified option being available for each model by 2024 According to Lohscheller, the existing product strategy would not meet the upcoming CO2 targets coming into effect. Thus the decision was made to move up plans for electrification Opel's technical center in Ruesselsheim will engineer all-new Opel/Vauxhall vehicles to have them stand out from their Citroen/DS/Peugeot brethren Ruesselheim will also become a global competence center for PSA, building up expertise in various areas such as autonomous driving and fuel cells Pledging to avoid closing down factories or forced layoffs "The necessary and sustainable reduction of labour costs shall be reached with thoughtful measures such as innovative working time concepts, voluntary programs or early retirement schemes,” the company said in a statement. “PACE! will unleash our full potential. This plan is paramount for the company, to protect our employees against headwinds and turn Opel/Vauxhall into a sustainable, profitable, electrified, and global company. Our future will be secured and we will contribute with German excellence to the Groupe PSA development. The implementation has already started with all teams eager to achieve the objectives,” said Lohscheller in a statement. But will it be enough? As Reuters noted, shares in PSA Group dropped 2.2 percent to €19.68 (about $22.65) after Carlos Tavares said Opel's financial health has been getting worse as PACE! was being drawn up. “The situation gets worse by the day,” Travares said, without going into detail. Source: Autocar, Car, Reuters, Opel Press Release is on Page 2 Opel/Vauxhall Go Profitable, Electric and Global with PACE! Return to profitability by 2020: 2% automotive recurring operating margin, positive operational free cash flow[1] Lower financial break-even point to 800,000 vehicles Electrification and CO2 leadership: All passenger carlines to be electrified by 2024 Improve efficiency towards benchmark levels for manufacturing and logistics cost as well as for wage cost/revenue-ratio Intention to maintain and modernise all plants and to refrain from forced redundancies R&D centre in Rüsselsheim to become a global competence centre for Groupe PSA Enlarge commercial scope: Leverage Opel brand for overseas export opportunities and foster growth of Opel/Vauxhall LCV business PACE! execution to immediately unleash Opel/Vauxhall performance and pave the way to a sustainable future Rüsselsheim. Michael Lohscheller, CEO of Opel Automobile GmbH, today announced the strategic plan PACE! to restore financial fundamentals and enhance sustainable competitiveness and growth. All PACE! initiatives will contribute to the goals of generating a positive operational free cash flow as well as a recurring operating margin for the auto division of 2% in a first phase by 2020 and of 6% by 2026. Combining strengths will unleash annual synergies on Groupe PSA level of €1.1 billion by 2020 and €1.7 billion by 2026. All actions will contribute to a lower financial break-even point for Opel/Vauxhall of 800,000 vehicles, creating a profitable business model whatever the headwinds may be. Having full access to Groupe PSA technologies, Opel/Vauxhall will become a European CO2 leader. By 2024, all European passenger carlines will be electrified – offering a pure battery electric propulsion or plug-in hybrid version alongside efficient internal combustion engines. By 2020, Opel/Vauxhall will have four electrified carlines on the market, including the Grandland X PHEV and the next generation Corsa as a fully electric vehicle. The company will enhance its competitiveness by 2020 e.g. by reducing costs by €700 per car. Efficiency of marketing expenses will be improved by more than 10%. Overall efficiencies will be increased by reducing complexity across all functions with a ratio G&A/revenue moving from 5.6% to 4.7% and an objective to bring the company towards industry benchmark in terms of wage cost/revenue ratio. Optimising R&D and CapEx at 7-8% of automotive revenue, manufacturing and administration processes by 2020 and releasing working capital of €1.2 billion by 2022 will also contribute to seizing synergies. Improved competitiveness of the manufacturing plants will lead to new vehicle allocations that will provide a better utilisation rate for the next decade. The two Groupe PSA platforms CMP and EMP2 will be localised in all Opel/Vauxhall plants. To start with, an EMP2-based SUV is planned for Eisenach in 2019; and an EMP2-based D-segment vehicle is coming to Rüsselsheim. The allocation of new powertrains in Opel/Vauxhall manufacturing sites will accompany the shift from GM to Groupe PSA engines and transmissions. “PACE! will unleash our full potential. This plan is paramount for the company, to protect our employees against headwinds and turn Opel/Vauxhall into a sustainable, profitable, electrified, and global company. Our future will be secured and we will contribute with German excellence to the Groupe PSA development. The implementation has already started with all teams eager to achieve the objectives,” said Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller. The plan is designed with the clear intention to maintain all plants and refrain from forced redundancies in Europe. The necessary and sustainable reduction of labour costs shall be reached with thoughtful measures such as innovative working time concepts, voluntary programs or early retirement schemes. All new Opel/Vauxhall vehicles will be engineered in Rüsselsheim, which will be transformed into a global competence centre for the whole Groupe PSA. First areas of expertise are identified, e.g. fuel cells, certain automated driving technologies and driver assistance developments. This will further guarantee German engineering quality and affordable innovations. Altogether, the number of platforms Opel/Vauxhall uses for its passenger cars will be reduced from currently 9 to 2 by 2024. Furthermore, the powertrain families will be optimised from currently 10 to 4. “Aligning architecture and powertrain families will substantially reduce development and production complexity, thus allowing scale effects and synergies, contributing to overall profitability,” said Lohscheller. Opel/Vauxhall will switch to efficient and flexible Groupe PSA vehicle architectures faster than originally expected. From 2024 onwards, all Opel/Vauxhall passenger car models will be based on joint Groupe PSA architectures. Next to come are the Combo in 2018 and the next generation of the bestselling Corsa in 2019. This course will be steadily continued with one major launch per year. Counting every body style, Opel/Vauxhall will launch 9 new models by 2020. This line-up will enable to increase the pricing power of Opel/Vauxhall brands and reduce the gap against benchmark by four points. Sales growth of the further profiled and strengthened Opel/Vauxhall brands will be supported by initiatives like the start of even more attractive financial offerings as well as full service leasing offers via the Financial Services of Opel and Vauxhall. Furthermore, Opel will enter more than 20 new export markets by 2022. Beyond that, Opel will explore global midterm overseas profitable export opportunities. To foster growth in the financially attractive light commercial vehicle (LCV) business, Opel/Vauxhall will launch new models and enter new markets with the clear goal to increase its LCV sales by 25% by 2020 against 2017. “PACE! has been designed by Opel/Vauxhall for the benefit of our employees as an immediate performance booster,” said Lohscheller.
  11. On Thursday, Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller will be presenting a new restructuring plan for its future under the PSA Group umbrella. Thanks a report from German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, we have some idea of what this plan entails. According to the paper, Opel will be cutting down on the models it offers and begin to focus on high-margin segments. The brand will also be tasked with developing technology for partial and complete electrification of all PSA Group models. To pull this off, Opel’s Rüsselsheim tech center will become the central point for the development of this tech. Other parts of the plan outlined in Frankfurter Allgemeine's report include, Combining the purchasing activities of the two companies Launching Opel into new markets (this was considered to be too taboo for GM) Cut labor costs Reduce the amount of discounting for new vehicles Future models to use platforms, engines, and transmissions from PSA Source: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required) View full article
  12. On Thursday, Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller will be presenting a new restructuring plan for its future under the PSA Group umbrella. Thanks a report from German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, we have some idea of what this plan entails. According to the paper, Opel will be cutting down on the models it offers and begin to focus on high-margin segments. The brand will also be tasked with developing technology for partial and complete electrification of all PSA Group models. To pull this off, Opel’s Rüsselsheim tech center will become the central point for the development of this tech. Other parts of the plan outlined in Frankfurter Allgemeine's report include, Combining the purchasing activities of the two companies Launching Opel into new markets (this was considered to be too taboo for GM) Cut labor costs Reduce the amount of discounting for new vehicles Future models to use platforms, engines, and transmissions from PSA Source: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required)
  13. As PSA Group - parent company of Citroen, DS, and Peugeot - gradually makes moves into possibly selling vehicles into the U.S., they are taking the next step by engineering their next-generation vehicles to meet U.S. regulations. "That means that from three years down the road we'll be able to push the button, if we decide to do so, in terms of product compliance vis-a-vis the U.S. regulations," said PSA Group CEO Carlos Tavares to Automotive News. Tavares also said PSA has decided which of three brands will be the first appeared in the U.S., but it isn't ready to announce which one. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  14. As PSA Group - parent company of Citroen, DS, and Peugeot - gradually makes moves into possibly selling vehicles into the U.S., they are taking the next step by engineering their next-generation vehicles to meet U.S. regulations. "That means that from three years down the road we'll be able to push the button, if we decide to do so, in terms of product compliance vis-a-vis the U.S. regulations," said PSA Group CEO Carlos Tavares to Automotive News. Tavares also said PSA has decided which of three brands will be the first appeared in the U.S., but it isn't ready to announce which one. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  15. Opel and Vauxhall are currently in the process of working on a new business plan for their new owner, PSA Group. Already, it seems one project has been suspended. Auto Express has learned from sources that plans for a flagship SUV have been shelved for the time being. Possibly named Monza, the model would use the Insignia platform and be around the size of a Ford Edge. It seems PSA Group is putting a freeze on various projects that are related in some form to Opel/Vauxhall's former owner, General Motors. Whether or not the Monza is canned or moved to a platform from PSA Group remains to be seen. One thing is clear, changes are already happening. Source: Auto Express View full article
  16. Opel and Vauxhall are currently in the process of working on a new business plan for their new owner, PSA Group. Already, it seems one project has been suspended. Auto Express has learned from sources that plans for a flagship SUV have been shelved for the time being. Possibly named Monza, the model would use the Insignia platform and be around the size of a Ford Edge. It seems PSA Group is putting a freeze on various projects that are related in some form to Opel/Vauxhall's former owner, General Motors. Whether or not the Monza is canned or moved to a platform from PSA Group remains to be seen. One thing is clear, changes are already happening. Source: Auto Express
  17. General Motors and PSA Group completed the sale of Opel/Vauxhall yesterday, effectively ending the era of GM’s European division. “It is a historic day. We are proud to join Groupe PSA and are now opening a new chapter in our history after 88 years with General Motors. We will continue our path of making technology `made in Germany´ available to everyone. The combination of our strengths will enable us to turn Opel and Vauxhall into a profitable and self-funded business. We have set ourselves the clear target of returning to profitability by 2020,” said Opel Automobile GmbH CEO Michael Lohscheller. As part of the sale, PSA Group paid 1.53 billion for the Opel and Vauxhall brands and $1.06 billion for the European arm of GM Financial. GM is still on the hook for existing pension obligations for Opel - estimated to be around $3.54 billion. The final part of the sale also marks some key changes of Opel and Vauxhall's leadership. Four new people - Christian Müller, Rémi Girardon, Philippe de Rovira, and Michelle Wen - will be joining the company's management. What happens next? The new management team will begin working on a new plan for the future of the two brands. The ultimate goal is to have Opel and Vauxhall return to profitability by 2020. Source: Reuters, Opel Press Release is on Page 2 Birth of a European Champion: Opel and Vauxhall join Groupe PSA Opel and Vauxhall to be operated as true iconic German and British brands New performance plan to be presented in 100 days: to generate a positive operational free cash flow by 2020 as well as an operating margin of 2% by 2020 and 6% by 2026 Four new team members to join the leadership team Rüsselsheim. The sale of Opel Automobile GmbH with its brands Opel and Vauxhall by General Motors to Groupe PSA has been finalized now. “It is a historic day,” said Opel Automobile GmbH CEO Michael Lohscheller. “We are proud to join Groupe PSA and are now opening a new chapter in our history after 88 years with General Motors. We will continue our path of making technology `made in Germany´ available to everyone. The combination of our strengths will enable us to turn Opel and Vauxhall into a profitable and self-funded business. We have set ourselves the clear target of returning to profitability by 2020.” “We are witnessing the birth of a true European champion today,” emphasized PSA Chairman of the board Carlos Tavares. “We will assist Opel and Vauxhall’s return to profitability and aim to set new industry benchmarks together. We will unleash the power of these iconic brands and the huge potential of its existing talents. Opel will remain German, Vauxhall will remain British. They are the perfect fit to our existing portfolio of French brands Peugeot, Citroën and DS Automobiles.” The market share of the enlarged Groupe PSA is now around 17 percent in Europe, making it the continent’s second largest carmaker with first or second place in main markets. As already assured when the contract was signed in March, all employee codetermination rights will remain unchanged. The Opel/Vauxhall management team will work on a plan for the future in the next 100 days. “We are eager to build the plan with PSA’s support and obviously together with our partners from the Works Council and the unions,” said Opel CEO Lohscheller. Synergies within the Groupe PSA, for example in purchasing and development, are set to play a major part. The combined entity will unlock substantial economies of scale and synergies in purchasing, manufacturing and R&D estimated at €1.7 Bn at run rate. The goal is to generate a positive operational free cash flow by 2020 as well as an operating margin of two percent by 2020 and six percent by 2026. Today’s start of a new era is accompanied by some important leadership changes. “I am happy to announce that four new members will join my management team,” said CEO Lohscheller: Christian Müller, previously Vice President Global Propulsion Systems – Europe and with Opel since 1996, will succeed William F. Bertagni as Vice President Engineering. He will integrate engineering and powertrain in one department. Rémi Girardon, previously Senior Vice President Group Industrial Strategy at Groupe PSA, will succeed Philip R. Kienle as Vice President Manufacturing. Philippe de Rovira, previously Group Controller at Groupe PSA, will become the new CFO of Opel, following Michael Lohscheller. Michelle Wen, Group Supply Chain Management Network Director at Vodafone Procurement, will be joining the Opel leadership team effective September 1 replacing Katherine Worthen currently Vice President Purchasing and Supply Chain. All other moves are with immediate effect. “We thank Katherine Worthen, William F. Bertagni and Philip Kienle for all their contributions to Opel/Vauxhall and wish them all the best for the next chapter of their careers within General Motors,” said Opel CEO Lohscheller. “And we cordially welcome Michelle Wen from Vodafone as well as Remi Girardon and Philippe de Rovira from Groupe PSA. I am looking forward to working with these new team members who will reinforce the potential of our leadership team.” Going forward, Michael Lohscheller is planning with a much leaner management structure, including the number of direct reports. “We are reducing complexity and increasing speed,” said Lohscheller. “I am looking forward to shaping the next chapter of Opel/Vauxhall with the new management team and leading our company into a successful future. The owners and the employees will not be the only ones to benefit from ever stronger Opel and Vauxhall brands – our customers will do so too.” PSA and Opel/Vauxhall have been working together since 2012. The cooperation so far includes four vehicles from Opel. The first model, the Opel Crossland X, has been available at dealerships since the end of June. The Opel Grandland X SUV in the next higher segment follows in the fall. The successor of the Opel Combo light commercial vehicle will come onto the market next year and as of 2019 the next generation of the best-selling Opel Corsa will be launched. Opel/Vauxhall and Groupe PSA will continue to work with General Motors in the future. In addition to development in the area of electric propulsion, Opel plants will continue to produce vehicles for the GM brands Buick and Holden. In parallel, the acquisition of GM Financial's European operations is under way, subject to validation by the different regulatory authorities’ review and is scheduled for the second half of 2017. View full article
  18. General Motors and PSA Group completed the sale of Opel/Vauxhall yesterday, effectively ending the era of GM’s European division. “It is a historic day. We are proud to join Groupe PSA and are now opening a new chapter in our history after 88 years with General Motors. We will continue our path of making technology `made in Germany´ available to everyone. The combination of our strengths will enable us to turn Opel and Vauxhall into a profitable and self-funded business. We have set ourselves the clear target of returning to profitability by 2020,” said Opel Automobile GmbH CEO Michael Lohscheller. As part of the sale, PSA Group paid 1.53 billion for the Opel and Vauxhall brands and $1.06 billion for the European arm of GM Financial. GM is still on the hook for existing pension obligations for Opel - estimated to be around $3.54 billion. The final part of the sale also marks some key changes of Opel and Vauxhall's leadership. Four new people - Christian Müller, Rémi Girardon, Philippe de Rovira, and Michelle Wen - will be joining the company's management. What happens next? The new management team will begin working on a new plan for the future of the two brands. The ultimate goal is to have Opel and Vauxhall return to profitability by 2020. Source: Reuters, Opel Press Release is on Page 2 Birth of a European Champion: Opel and Vauxhall join Groupe PSA Opel and Vauxhall to be operated as true iconic German and British brands New performance plan to be presented in 100 days: to generate a positive operational free cash flow by 2020 as well as an operating margin of 2% by 2020 and 6% by 2026 Four new team members to join the leadership team Rüsselsheim. The sale of Opel Automobile GmbH with its brands Opel and Vauxhall by General Motors to Groupe PSA has been finalized now. “It is a historic day,” said Opel Automobile GmbH CEO Michael Lohscheller. “We are proud to join Groupe PSA and are now opening a new chapter in our history after 88 years with General Motors. We will continue our path of making technology `made in Germany´ available to everyone. The combination of our strengths will enable us to turn Opel and Vauxhall into a profitable and self-funded business. We have set ourselves the clear target of returning to profitability by 2020.” “We are witnessing the birth of a true European champion today,” emphasized PSA Chairman of the board Carlos Tavares. “We will assist Opel and Vauxhall’s return to profitability and aim to set new industry benchmarks together. We will unleash the power of these iconic brands and the huge potential of its existing talents. Opel will remain German, Vauxhall will remain British. They are the perfect fit to our existing portfolio of French brands Peugeot, Citroën and DS Automobiles.” The market share of the enlarged Groupe PSA is now around 17 percent in Europe, making it the continent’s second largest carmaker with first or second place in main markets. As already assured when the contract was signed in March, all employee codetermination rights will remain unchanged. The Opel/Vauxhall management team will work on a plan for the future in the next 100 days. “We are eager to build the plan with PSA’s support and obviously together with our partners from the Works Council and the unions,” said Opel CEO Lohscheller. Synergies within the Groupe PSA, for example in purchasing and development, are set to play a major part. The combined entity will unlock substantial economies of scale and synergies in purchasing, manufacturing and R&D estimated at €1.7 Bn at run rate. The goal is to generate a positive operational free cash flow by 2020 as well as an operating margin of two percent by 2020 and six percent by 2026. Today’s start of a new era is accompanied by some important leadership changes. “I am happy to announce that four new members will join my management team,” said CEO Lohscheller: Christian Müller, previously Vice President Global Propulsion Systems – Europe and with Opel since 1996, will succeed William F. Bertagni as Vice President Engineering. He will integrate engineering and powertrain in one department. Rémi Girardon, previously Senior Vice President Group Industrial Strategy at Groupe PSA, will succeed Philip R. Kienle as Vice President Manufacturing. Philippe de Rovira, previously Group Controller at Groupe PSA, will become the new CFO of Opel, following Michael Lohscheller. Michelle Wen, Group Supply Chain Management Network Director at Vodafone Procurement, will be joining the Opel leadership team effective September 1 replacing Katherine Worthen currently Vice President Purchasing and Supply Chain. All other moves are with immediate effect. “We thank Katherine Worthen, William F. Bertagni and Philip Kienle for all their contributions to Opel/Vauxhall and wish them all the best for the next chapter of their careers within General Motors,” said Opel CEO Lohscheller. “And we cordially welcome Michelle Wen from Vodafone as well as Remi Girardon and Philippe de Rovira from Groupe PSA. I am looking forward to working with these new team members who will reinforce the potential of our leadership team.” Going forward, Michael Lohscheller is planning with a much leaner management structure, including the number of direct reports. “We are reducing complexity and increasing speed,” said Lohscheller. “I am looking forward to shaping the next chapter of Opel/Vauxhall with the new management team and leading our company into a successful future. The owners and the employees will not be the only ones to benefit from ever stronger Opel and Vauxhall brands – our customers will do so too.” PSA and Opel/Vauxhall have been working together since 2012. The cooperation so far includes four vehicles from Opel. The first model, the Opel Crossland X, has been available at dealerships since the end of June. The Opel Grandland X SUV in the next higher segment follows in the fall. The successor of the Opel Combo light commercial vehicle will come onto the market next year and as of 2019 the next generation of the best-selling Opel Corsa will be launched. Opel/Vauxhall and Groupe PSA will continue to work with General Motors in the future. In addition to development in the area of electric propulsion, Opel plants will continue to produce vehicles for the GM brands Buick and Holden. In parallel, the acquisition of GM Financial's European operations is under way, subject to validation by the different regulatory authorities’ review and is scheduled for the second half of 2017.
  19. While the primary focus at PSA Group for the past few months has been purchase of Opel and Vauxhall from General Motors, there has been another project that has been going in the shadows, the return of the French automaker to the U.S. Speaking at the CAR Management Briefing Seminars this week in Traverse City, MI, the CEO of the recently established PSA North America Larry Dominique gave a status update. Back in April, PSA made their first foray into North America with the launch of car-sharing service TravelCar in Los Angeles and San Francisco. The next step is the launch of the Free2Move application into North America. Already launched in Europe, the application allows users to book and pay for a variety of transportation services such as public transit or ride hailing. For Europe, the application has eight different services on offer. Dominique said the app allows PSA Group to "interact with consumers more often than engaging solely in car sales." “We’re going to be starting to engage with millions of Americans. By the time we’re ready to sell cars, selling cars will just be the exclamation point at the end of the sentence,” Dominique told Automotive News on the sidelines. Also in the works is figuring out a dealership with the various services such as financing, servicing, and parts. Building out a dealer network will cost a fair chunk of cash and trying to something different with selling their vehicles is a no go for the time being. “We are looking for progressive, innovative and digital-minded partners,” said Dominique in an effort to reduce costs. “I’m not prepared to talk about how we are going to come to market (in North America) but it will be practical, traditional and use technology.” Dominique is aware of how big of a challenge that he is taking on and they only get one chance to get it right. “We’ve got to be able to do things in a new, innovative way. I don’t have the infrastructure and the legacy in place. We have a chance to do this right once.” Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Wards Auto
  20. While the primary focus at PSA Group for the past few months has been purchase of Opel and Vauxhall from General Motors, there has been another project that has been going in the shadows, the return of the French automaker to the U.S. Speaking at the CAR Management Briefing Seminars this week in Traverse City, MI, the CEO of the recently established PSA North America Larry Dominique gave a status update. Back in April, PSA made their first foray into North America with the launch of car-sharing service TravelCar in Los Angeles and San Francisco. The next step is the launch of the Free2Move application into North America. Already launched in Europe, the application allows users to book and pay for a variety of transportation services such as public transit or ride hailing. For Europe, the application has eight different services on offer. Dominique said the app allows PSA Group to "interact with consumers more often than engaging solely in car sales." “We’re going to be starting to engage with millions of Americans. By the time we’re ready to sell cars, selling cars will just be the exclamation point at the end of the sentence,” Dominique told Automotive News on the sidelines. Also in the works is figuring out a dealership with the various services such as financing, servicing, and parts. Building out a dealer network will cost a fair chunk of cash and trying to something different with selling their vehicles is a no go for the time being. “We are looking for progressive, innovative and digital-minded partners,” said Dominique in an effort to reduce costs. “I’m not prepared to talk about how we are going to come to market (in North America) but it will be practical, traditional and use technology.” Dominique is aware of how big of a challenge that he is taking on and they only get one chance to get it right. “We’ve got to be able to do things in a new, innovative way. I don’t have the infrastructure and the legacy in place. We have a chance to do this right once.” Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Wards Auto View full article
  21. If General Motors and PSA Group were hoping to have a smooth sale of Opel, they were dashed this week. Both Automobilwoche and German newspaper Allgemeine Zeitung report Opel's work council and German labor union IG Metall have some specific demands for workers at Opel's development center in Rüsselsheim. The two parties want a guarantee that 7,700 workers will keep their jobs at the center and that continue performing work for GM until 2020 - which could account for 30 percent of the development center's output. There are also some disagreements on vehicle development. PSA Group wants the next-generation Corsa subcompact to use one their platforms, while Opel wants to keep the current platform and also wants to develop an SUV based on the Insignia platform. Until this issue can get resolved, GM and PSA Group cannot move forward with the Opel sale. Originally, GM was planning to move their European assets into a new company titled Opel Automobile GmbH. But plans for this have been postponed. "Only when these service contracts are signed and the new ITEZ contract is signed can the business transition come," an insider told Allgemeine Zeitung. A spokeswoman for the works council told Automobilwoche that there was no disagreement between the various parties on this issue. But the complexity of this matter has pushed back plans for workers to ratify the agreement. Information sessions about the agreement that were supposed to take place this week have been reportedly canceled. Source: Automobilwoche, Allgemeine Zeitung
  22. If General Motors and PSA Group were hoping to have a smooth sale of Opel, they were dashed this week. Both Automobilwoche and German newspaper Allgemeine Zeitung report Opel's work council and German labor union IG Metall have some specific demands for workers at Opel's development center in Rüsselsheim. The two parties want a guarantee that 7,700 workers will keep their jobs at the center and that continue performing work for GM until 2020 - which could account for 30 percent of the development center's output. There are also some disagreements on vehicle development. PSA Group wants the next-generation Corsa subcompact to use one their platforms, while Opel wants to keep the current platform and also wants to develop an SUV based on the Insignia platform. Until this issue can get resolved, GM and PSA Group cannot move forward with the Opel sale. Originally, GM was planning to move their European assets into a new company titled Opel Automobile GmbH. But plans for this have been postponed. "Only when these service contracts are signed and the new ITEZ contract is signed can the business transition come," an insider told Allgemeine Zeitung. A spokeswoman for the works council told Automobilwoche that there was no disagreement between the various parties on this issue. But the complexity of this matter has pushed back plans for workers to ratify the agreement. Information sessions about the agreement that were supposed to take place this week have been reportedly canceled. Source: Automobilwoche, Allgemeine Zeitung View full article
  23. PSA Group is slowing making end roads into U.S. as part of their 10-year plan. We have already reported on their carsharing service, TravelCar that will be launching in select markets this month. Now, the French automaker has taken the next step by announcing former Nissan and TrueCar executive Larry Dominique as a Senior Vice President of PSA North America. Automotive News reports Dominique's role will first deal with the car-sharing aspects before starting to make progress on one or all of the brands in the U.S. “This is a market that, as a full-line automaker, you need to be part of. But this is a 10-year project. It’s not about jumping in and creating market share as quickly as possible.” said Dominique. “Positioning a brand in the U.S. marketplace -- which is very crowded today -- is going to take patience, analysis and data. And it’s going to take careful execution. That’s why we’re not rushing into this. There are a lot of unanswered questions facing Dominique such as which brands will be sold in the U.S. and how will the vehicles be sold - dealer network or some other way. “It’s going to be a significant amount of money to re-enter the market. But we haven’t set a number. If we can find more efficient ways to market and sell our vehicles -- whether it’s in a traditional partnership with investors or not -- those are things that can heavily influence the cost of coming to market,” said Dominique. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  24. PSA Group is slowing making end roads into U.S. as part of their 10-year plan. We have already reported on their carsharing service, TravelCar that will be launching in select markets this month. Now, the French automaker has taken the next step by announcing former Nissan and TrueCar executive Larry Dominique as a Senior Vice President of PSA North America. Automotive News reports Dominique's role will first deal with the car-sharing aspects before starting to make progress on one or all of the brands in the U.S. “This is a market that, as a full-line automaker, you need to be part of. But this is a 10-year project. It’s not about jumping in and creating market share as quickly as possible.” said Dominique. “Positioning a brand in the U.S. marketplace -- which is very crowded today -- is going to take patience, analysis and data. And it’s going to take careful execution. That’s why we’re not rushing into this. There are a lot of unanswered questions facing Dominique such as which brands will be sold in the U.S. and how will the vehicles be sold - dealer network or some other way. “It’s going to be a significant amount of money to re-enter the market. But we haven’t set a number. If we can find more efficient ways to market and sell our vehicles -- whether it’s in a traditional partnership with investors or not -- those are things that can heavily influence the cost of coming to market,” said Dominique. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  25. One of the big questions facing the sale of Opel to PSA Group is what will happen in the future. Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann spilled some of the beans in an interview with German magazine Auto Motor und Sport. Neumann will remain the CEO of Opel, but tells the magazine that he will work closely with PSA's CEO Carlos Tavares. "It is important for me to stand before employees and show leadership. I have done this in the past and will continue to do so," said Neumann. "I think we have great respect for each other. That is why I see a good foundation for continued cooperation," the magazine quoted Neumann as saying. Opel will also have its own leadership, and the ability to design and develop its own cars. The only difference is that it will be using platforms from PSA. Neumann says it will take several years for the brand to transition from GM to PSA platforms. The main priority is to get Opel profitable once again. This will be accomplished by deepening cooperation with PSA and lowering development costs. Opel is also planning their largest product offensive with 7 new models being launched in the near future. They include a new SUV that will serve as the second flagship model alongside the new Insignia and new electric models. Neumann declined to comment on a report he was planning to make Opel an electric-vehicle only brand. Interestingly, Neumann revealed that he was very skeptical about introducing Opel into the Chinese marketplace. "This is a complete misunderstanding of the situation. PSA has long since ceased to be sick, but has recovered very strongly and just presented a super result for 2016. And we are clearly on the road to recovery. From a strong and a well-being, two might now become strong." Source: Auto Motor und Sport View full article

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