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PSA completes Opel/Vauxhall takeover


The PSA Group has reportedly completed its R30.3-billion purchase of Opel and its UK subsidiary Vauxhall, effectively making it the second biggest automaker in Europe behind Volkswagen.

According to Britain's Autocar, the acquisition of General Motors' European operations by the parent company of Peugeot, Citroën and DS, not only gives PSA a 17% share of the European market, but also brings an end to Opel/Vauxhall's 88 year run as part of the Detroit giant's model portfolio.

Last month, the European Union's antitrust authority approved the buyout with little hesitation, adding that it sees the merger as posing no threat from a competition standpoint.

"We are witnessing the birth of a true European champion today. 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," PSA Group CEO Carlos Tavares was quoted as saying.

A takeover of GM's financial operations by PSA in partnership with French bank BNP Paribas is yet to given the green light, although it is estimated to take place later this year.

"We are reducing complexity and increasing speed. 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," new Opel boss, Michael Lohscheller, told the publication.

Lohscheller, who replaced Karl Thomas-Neumann as CEO in June, stated that "Opel is eager to build the [business] plan with PSA’s support", and that " 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".

The confirmed sale comes less than three months after GM announced its exit from a number of markets, including South Africa, and two months after Unitrans Motors owned Williams Hunt were confirmed as the preferred distributor of Opel products from January next year.


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