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GM confirms holding talks to sell Opel to the PSA Group

It looks like Opel/Vauxhall will have a new owner soon. This comes as the PSA Group and General Motors are currently holding talks over the possibility of GM selling its Opel unit to the French carmaker.

The discussions were first reported by Reuters and Bloomberg News, citing sources. In a recent statement, GM confirmed that the two carmakers are exploring several strategic initiatives with the objective of improving profitability as well as operational efficiency. GM added that the discussions included a potential acquisition of Opel Vauxhall by the PSA Group. GM also noted that the carmakers have been in alliance since 2012, with the partnership covering three projects in Europe.

Selling Opel to the PSA Group wouldn’t be an easy thing to do for GM. There are quite a number of financial, industrial and political considerations that needed to be factored in. That said, both GM and PSA could also earn some benefits from such transaction.

Read the entire article GM confirms holding talks to sell Opel to the PSA Group

PSA/Peugeot-Citroen plans $1.34 billion rights offering for GM deal

PSA/Peugeot-Citroen is considering a rights offering of 1 billion-euro or $1.34 billion in order to raise funds in line with an agreement with General Motors Co., several insiders disclosed. GM will purchase around 7% of the Paris-based vehicle manufacturer and will take part in the new share sale, according to the insiders who sought anonymity due to the confidentiality of the discussions.

The Peugeot family is the biggest stakeholder of the French company with 30% of the share. The family has expressed its intention to participate in the rights offer, one of the insiders revealed.

In addition, the planned alliance with GM includes a restructuring at the two companies, resulting in job reductions and factory closures, said another individual who is familiar with the talks.  This person further disclosed that Peugeot and GM are still discussing the specifics and will not publicize them for several weeks or months because of political concerns in France. 

Read the entire article PSA/Peugeot-Citroen plans $1.34 billion rights offering for GM deal

PSA Peugeot Citroen may sell 7% share to GM, insiders revealed

PSA Peugeot Citroen may sell around 7 percent share in the Paris-based carmaker to General Motors Co. as part of a development alliance, according to Bloomberg citing insiders who have knowledge of the situation. The company may announce the plans for the sale as soon as this week, the insiders disclosed.

The transaction would include a standstill agreement wherein GM would not have a greater holding in the French automaker without permission, according to the insiders who requested anonymity due to the confidentiality of the discussions. They further disclosed that Peugeot may present additional stocks through a rights issue in line with the transaction.

In a different report, Reuters cited sources who stated that GM may purchase a share of no greater than 5 percent. An alliance of Peugeot and GM may include manufacturing engines and vehicles together in the region, according to an individual who is familiar with the matter. GM spokesperson Klaus-Peter Martin declined to make a comment.

Read the entire article PSA Peugeot Citroen may sell 7% share to GM, insiders revealed

Ford won’t use GM’s 9 speed automatic transmission due to cost, efficiency snags

Several years ago, on April 15, 2013, Ford and General Motors signed an agreement to jointly use automatic transmissions that both automakers had developed. This was developed mainly for models like the F-150 and the Mustang. For the former, their part of the deal was to share its own 10 speed gearbox to rear wheel drive cars with GM, and in return, they will be able to use the 9 speed gearbox which they can use in front wheel drive crossovers, for a smoother and more efficient drive.

The gearbox seen in this photo, the Hydra-Matic 9T50, which was originally introduced in Chevy models with the 2017 Malibu, 2017 Cruze Diesel and the 2018 Equinox will not find its way inside a Ford model. Rather, the automaker opted to use an eight speed box for models like the Edge and the MKX that replaces the Lincoln Nautilus.

So what made them change their mind? Well, Ford believes that GM’s transmission is not good enough to handle the extra weight that comes from the new gear. That is not all, because it also argues that it does not justify the increased cost required for it to adapt to the Ford models. AutoPacific Inc. analyst, Dave Sullivan, even joked that if he was offered a transmission that did not require much work, outside of tuning it for a specific vehicle, he would take it and run.

Read the entire article Ford won’t use GM’s 9 speed automatic transmission due to cost, efficiency snags

General Motors has long faced issues in the European market. After years of experiencing losses, as well as weakening sales, the brand earlier this year sold off not only its Vauxhall brand but even the Opel brand. Opel is the main brand name that GM uses in Europe with the exception of the U.K. In the United Kingdom, Vauxhall, a British subsidiary of Opel, uses its very own brand name.

GM had disclosed that its European operations experienced a $257 million loss, the 16th year it had done so. GM would then sell the Opel and Vauxhall brands to the PSA Group in a deal valued at $2.3 billion.

For those familiar with the matter, the European operations of Chevrolet, known way back as Daewoo, was also halted in 2013. This was after the Chevrolet brand experienced losses amounting to $18 billion over several years. The phaseout was completed by the later part of 2015. Saab, which is another GM brand, was initially sold in 2010 before succumbing to bankruptcy by 2012.

Read the entire article GM hints at possible full-scale comeback to Europe

Since its release in 2014, the Citroen C4 Cactus has always been loved by car enthusiasts, thanks to its quirky look. But for 2018, it seems like the French automaker plans to give the compact hatchback a more conventional look instead. Aside from that, the automaker will be giving it substantial upgrades, inside and out - from a softer suspension to a floating-roof design. Plus, customers will have over 31 exterior combinations to choose from.

But if you were a huge fan of the C4 Cactus’ original look, there’s nothing to worry about because some of the design cues still carry over. These include the Airbump side panels but these have been minimized and moved further down to the bottom sill. The sleek headlights also remain from the 2014 model year. The company explains that the C4 will still be bold, while it “gains enhanced status”.

For the exterior, customers can choose from nine colour options including Polar White, Platinum Grey, Sport Red and some others. The body can then be paired with your choice of five different alloy wheels - from 16-inch grey and black square designs on the lower trim models, or the 17-inch cross wheel that is available in several colours too.

Read the entire article Citroen C4 Cactus scraps quirky look for a more mainstream guise for 2018

Just last year, Cruise Automation was acquired by General Motors, and today, it is the self-driving startup that is gobbling up companies on its own. General Motors is stepping their game up once more. To make things easier for them when it comes to the development of autonomous cars, they decided to acquire California-based Strobe, Inc. Not a lot of you may have heard of this company, but Strobe specializes in LiDAR technology, and that is a huge step forward for companies who are into autonomous systems for automobiles. After the acquisition, Strobe engineers will become part of the automaker’s Cruise Automation team.

Julie Schoenfeld, Founder and CEO of Strobe, Inc., said in a statement that the successful deployment of self-driving vehicles will have to depend on the availability of LiDAR sensors. Furthermore, GM and Cruise will benefit from Strobe’s deep engineering talent and technology backed by a number of patents. And hopefully, the automaker brings these autonomous vehicles sooner than we would think.

LiDAR is different from radar systems because the former uses laser pulses to “see” an area, whereas the latter relies on radar systems to do the same thing. And the LiDAR, as we know, is much more detailed as it creates a better picture of its surroundings, which translates to a more accurate processing of information. In other words, the LiDAR system can see a more realistic picture of what’s around it - from cars, pedestrians, and the road. Therefore, the LiDAR systems will play a pivotal role in the current and future development of autonomous cars. However, radars and LiDARs can complement each other to create a more robust and fault-tolerant sensing suite, operating in a wide range of environmental and lighting conditions.

Read the entire article GM gets closer to producing fully autonomous vehicles with acquisition of Strobe Inc.

In partnership with Le Coq Sportif, Citroën revealed that it will be releasing a customized version of a genuine Type H. The brand will also be coming out with a New Dispatch van. The two will utilize the Le Coq Sportif. With these, the brand is celebrating the Type H van’s 70th anniversary. With the Type H, the brand hopes to express nostalgia and authenticity with the use of warm materials. The New Dispatch on the other hand reveals a more contemporary and smooth spirit through the use of white color and simplicity.

For those not familiar, the Type H was originally launched in 1947 with actual production from 1947 to 1981. When it was released, it became the first-ever mass-produced van to have front-wheel drive.

This four-door van has a length of 4.28 meters. Moreover, an impressive total of 473,289 units were manufactured. The New Dispatch meanwhile uses a platform that allows for a maximum payload of 1,400 kg and it is capable of pulling a braked trailer that can weigh up to 2,500 kg. The New Dispatch will be offered in three different lengths which are the base model, compact, and the XS. The XS in particular is seen as practical especially with a length of 4.60 m. With a height of 1.90 meters, it can fit in a car park.

Read the entire article Citroen partners with Le Coq Sportif to release customized Type H

Citroen is phasing out the current generation C5 in Europe after it produced the final example in Rennes, France. The C5, being one of the aging models released for the European market since 2007, coincides with the ending of Citroen’s famous hydropneumatic suspension. It can be recalled that the automaker officially confirmed that it will end the use of this “old technology” in 2015 due to low customer demand and high production cost. Having said that, Citroen intends to replace its famous hydraulics system with a more innovative set-up this year.

For more than a decade, the French marque was able to sell over 635,000 examples of the C5 and 435,000 of it was marketed in Europe. In 2016, Citroen however sold fewer than 10,000 examples of the C5 to the European market.

While the station wagon was the final example of the C5 made for Europe and the production of the sedan came to a halt the previous year, Citroen will continue producing the C5’s revolutionized version in China. As for Europe, the French automaker is working on a new generation model that could possibly take the shape of a sporty hatchback instead of the traditional sedan body style.

Read the entire article Production of current generation Citroen C5 and its hydraulic suspension finally ends in Europe

Everyone, meet the new presidential car. Newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron has appointed the latest DS 7 Crossback as his official car during the recent inauguration. It was barely a couple of months ago since Groupe PSA introduced the new crossover but it wasn’t until the parade that the public finally saw what the new crossover looks like. Otherwise known as Distinctive Series/Different Spirit, the DS marque actually had been Citroen’s sub brand from 2009 until it became an independent brand in 2014. No matter how deeply rooted DS Cars are with Citroen models, it is worth noting that these two have very distinct qualities when it comes to manufacturing and engineering.

The presidential car certainly has more special features than any regular unit ever built by the premium car brand. Apart from the soft top roof cover, the custom designed SUV comes with a flag holder on one side. Atelier Maury meanwhile designed its Black leather interior which matches the Ink Blue exterior paint perfectly. To complete the premium look, the presidential SUV comes equipped with a new set of 20-inch alloy wheels in two tone finish plus gold detailing.

Despite the lack of details about its powertrain, the French automaker assures that the presidential car has all the latest technologies similar to the upcoming production version. One of which is the highly advanced DS Active Scan Suspension with built-in camera as well as the DS Connected Pilot for autonomous driving.

Read the entire article French President Emmanuel Macron rides in a custom DS 7 Crossback

Two years after Citroën revealed the Aircross Concept at the 2015 Auto Shanghai in China, the production model will then be introduced at the same event this week. Love it or hate it, the C5 Aircross will be having the same eccentric exterior just like the C4 Cactus, except the Aircross will be having a much larger body measuring at 4.5 meters long, 1.84 meters wide, and 1.67 meters tall.

Citroën released a couple of videos online to put emphasis on the “Progressive Hydraulic Cushions” as this is one of the highlights of the SUV - in fact, the all-new suspension benefits from this.

Both damping quality and ride comfort have both been improved with this technology. The two hydraulic stops are for rebound and compression, creating a two-step suspension. Reports say that no less than 20 patents were registered during the development of the Progressive Hydraulic Cushions.

Read the entire article 2017 Citroen C5 Aircross is revealed with an eccentric new look

PSA Group - the French automotive manufacturer who gave us Peugeots and Citroens automobiles, is seeking to establish a stronghold to the US Market, and naming the former TrueCar and Nissan Exec Larry Dominique to lead its conquest.

There has been several news in the past that mentions PSA Group's plan of expanding to the US, but it seems this time, it is for real. PSA's affinity for the US all started around 1960 when the Peugeot 404 sedan was made available to the public, and was followed by 504. The last vehicles that Peugeot released in the US were the squared styled, rear wheel drive 505 saloon and its wagon counterpart, and the front wheel drive 405 that has been made in both body styles.

Citroen also departed from USA as early as 1974, with chosen automobiles being shipped via specialist importers. The last offering of PSA Group is the DS Automobiles which is viewed as the store version of Citroen, a Lexus/Infiniti-ish offering that ranges from city hatches to midsize cars. Only recently, PSA obtained Opel- another auto manufacturer who has been long gone from US.

Read the entire article Former Nissan Exec tapped to lead PSA comeback in US

PSA seems very confident about conquering the world. The purchase of Opel/Vauxhall for €2.2 billion ($2.3B) from General Motors makes PSA the second largest car company, just behind the Volkswagen Group, but taking over Renault-Nissan’s spot.

Jean-Philippe Peugeot, a family shareholder of PSA, said that they have already discussed a potential acquisition of Opel back in 2012, as early as when the General Motors made a deal with the French company. However, it was not the right time for the marriage of both companies so they waited until this year to announce their plan to the public. He also added in his interview with a German newspaper that PSA wants to go global in the coming years. Thus, the goal was set to “conquer the rest of the world step by step”.

The acquisition includes: Opel/Vauxhall’s automotive operations, the brands they carry, assembly and component manufacturing facilities, an engineering center in Deutschland, and all their employees. Now that Opel is part of the PSA group. It is a big help for the company’s plan to achieve important economies of scale, and this means manufacturing at least three million cars for a core market. Robert Peugeot (Chairman of the PSA Group’s strategy committee) further explained himself and said that “all large carmakers have a volume of three million cars in one important market.

Read the entire article PSA-Opel marriage sets out to conquer the world

Now, it has been signed. Discussions over the possible acquisition of Opel/Vauxhall from General Motors by the PSA Group have finally reached a conclusion. The parties, including international banking group BNP, have finally inked an agreement in which GM is selling both its automotive and financial operations in Europe for a whopping EUR2.2 billion (around $2.33 billion).

According to the terms of the agreement, PSA will be acquiring Opel and Vauxhall – GM’s automotive operations in Europe – for EUR1.3 billion (around $1.38 billion). PSA and BNP Paribas are forming a 50-50 joint venture to acquire the European operations of GM Financial at 0.8 times of its pro forma book value or around EUR900 million (around $953 million). Thus, the transaction – the sale of Opel/Vauxhall automotive operations and GM Financial’s entire European operations – has a total value of EUR2.2 billion.

PSA’s share of the entire transaction -- Opel/Vauxhall and half of GM Financial’s European operations – will cost the French group around EUR1.75 billion (around $1.85 billion). BNP Paribas’ share of the transaction – 50 percent GM Financial’s European operations – will cost the banking group around EUR450 million (around $476 million).

Read the entire article PSA Group inks deal to acquire Opel and Vauxhall from General Motors

The ride-sharing fleet of sharing Lyft Inc. will soon include thousands of specially fitted self-driving Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles, courtesy of General Motors. If plans push through, Lyft’s clients would be riding in autonomous EVs as early as start of 2018, according to a report by Reuters, citing sources privy to GM’s plans.

This brings the partnership between GM and Lyft to a new level – a technologically advanced collaboration that involves not just innovative electric vehicles, but also ground-breaking autonomous ones. Deploying thousands of self-driving Chevrolet Bolt EV to Lyft would allow the United States-based carmaker to accelerate tests of its autonomous technology on its zero-emission cars. One of Reuters’ sources divulged that Lyft is planning to deploy these autonomous Chevrolet Bolt EVs for testing in a number of states across the US.

GM’s plans are in line with pronouncements of its executives and with its investor presentations in 2016 that it intends to build a high volume of self-driving vehicles and then deploy them in ride sharing services like Lyft. Despite these pronouncements ad presentations, details are still vague as to how many autonomous vehicles will be built or when the US carmaker is specifically planning to deploy them. In fact, GM has only said in recent statement that its autonomous vehicle technology will be featured in an on-demand ride sharing network application sooner than people have expected. It should be noted that the GM acquired a minority stake in Lyft in 2016 for around $500 million.

Read the entire article GM to deploy thousands of self-driving Chevrolet Bolt EVs to Lyft’s ride-sharing service

Citroen revealed that its entry to the Chinese market is moving forward with the planned release of the new generation C5.

While still on sale on this part of the world, the C5 has been discontinued in Europe mainly due to low sales. With this in mind, Citroen is hoping to give the current version the rest it deserves by coming out with a new model that it hopes to unveil by the start of the Shanghai Motor Show, which is set for April.

At present, there is still no actual model as the preview that Citroen has shown is available in two design sketches with one for the exterior and the other for its interior. Initial impression for the design though is not that optimistic, given that instead of revealing a new generation, the drafts simply show a facelift. Early photos though have shown that the front end will be redesigned entirely. In addition to having new headlights, the bumper and the grille will be new as well ensuring that it does have a new look.

Read the entire article Citroen shows glimpse of new generation C5 for China

For French carmaker Citroen, offering adventure and utility doesn’t really having mean to create an SUV or a crossover. This is why Citroen is introducing a new 4x4 minivan concept that should serve as a stylish and practical mode of transport for the modern adventurer – the Citroen SpaceTourer 4x4 E Concept.

According to Citroen, the SpaceTourer 4x4 E Concept is a contemporary vehicle that combines off-road ability, versatility and comfort, as inspired by the carmaker’s "E" collection of limited edition lifestyle products. The carmaker described the SpaceTourer 4x4 E Concept as an ideal companion for outdoor pursuits, thanks to a ground clearance that is around 60mm higher than the SpaceTourer MPV production model. But that is not all that defines the concept’s adventurous spirit.

Serving as the dynamic core of SpaceTourer 4x4 E Concept is a BlueHDi 150 S&S diesel engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission. This turbodiesel 2.0-liter, four-cylinder BlueHDi 150 S&S diesel powerplant – already featured in a number of Citroen vehicles – is rated to develop 150 hp (112 kW) of max output and 370 Nm (273 lb.-ft.) of peak torque. This amount of power is sent to all four wheels of the SpaceTourer 4x4 E Concept through a selectable 4x4 transmission courtesy of Automobiles Dangel. Thanks to this unique drivetrain, the SpaceTourer 4x4 E Concept could enjoy 4x4 traction, with Auto 4WD and R.

Read the entire article Citroen introduces SpaceTourer 4X4 E Concept before 2017 Geneva Motor Show

A few weeks before Citroen reveals the production version of the replacement compact SUV for the C3 Picasso, the French carmaker has unfurled its concept variant – the Citroen C-Aircross Concept.

Splashes of bright orange, light grey and fluorescent coral colors are found inside the cabin of the Citroen C-Aircross Concept. The interior also features a sleek dashboard, suspended seats, a single spoke steering wheel with intuitive commands and a fabric-covered dashboard with a tinted "head-up vision" board.

Citroen is also touting the off-road capability of the C-Aircross Concept. It is provided with the so-called Grip Control function that allows the C-Aircross Concept to be brought away from the urban roads, making it a good companion for family getaways and hangouts with friends.

Read the entire article Citroen unveils vision for C3 Picasso replacement: the C-Aircross Concept

Motorists wanting to have the 2017 Citroen C-Elysee in their respective garages may now be able to place an order for the compact sedan in France. This face-lifted iteration of the Citroen C-Elysee could be availed at a starting price of €13,750 ($14,459).

According to the French carmaker, interested customers could only avail of one trim level for the 2017 Citroen C-Elysee, dubbed as Live. The base version of the 2017 Citroen C-Elysee is laden with an array of standard equipment that includes the Citroen Connect Radio system. This feature comes with a new touchscreen (measuring seven inches), which has an interface that paves the way for a more responsive in-vehicle experience. Allowing users to connect their smartphones to the vehicle through Bluetooth, this seven-inch touchscreen serves as a hub from where users could control the multimedia and telephone functions through smartphone connectivity (Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink).

Designed to appeal to markets around the world, the new Citroen C-Elysee is underpinned by the same components that underpin the Peugeot 301. As many have guessed, the 2017 Citroen C-Elysee sports a revised look – although overall, its appearance has not changed that much. Cosmetics tweaks implemented on the new 2017 Citroen C-Elysee include a revised radiator grille as flanked by redesigned headlights, LED daytime running lights and fog lights as well as taillights with three-dimensional effect lights. Cosmetic tweaks for the 2017 iteration of the Citroen C-Elysee also included the addition of Lazuli Blue and Aluminum Grey colors, replacing the Teles Blue and Steel Grey hues, respectively. New 16-inch wheels could also be availed for the 2017 C-Elysee.

Read the entire article 2017 Citroen C-Elysee now available to order in France with €13,750 starting price

A definitive fruit of a 2013 master collaboration agreement between American carmaker General Motors and Japanese auto company Honda has finally been realized.

Considered as two of the leaders of in fuel cell technology among carmakers, GM and Honda inked in 2013 a long-term agreement to co-develop the next-generation fuel cell system as well as hydrogen storage technologies. The two carmakers also aimed to advance refueling infrastructure to improve the viability of fuel cell vehicles. To achieve this, GM and Honda planned to share expertise and economies of scale as well as pursue common sourcing strategies – thereby making fuel cell systems less costly to produce for the carmaker and more affordable to end consumers.

The agreement resulted in the establishment of the Fuel Cell System Manufacturing LLC (FCSM), a manufacturing joint venture – as its name obviously indicates -- that will focus on the mass production of an advanced hydrogen fuel cell system that will be employed in the upcoming products from GM and Honda. The two carmakers will invest in equal amounts a total of $85 million in the joint venture – the first in the auto industry – with an aim to commence mass production operations by the end of the decade (2020). FCSM will be based within GM’s battery pack production site located in Brownstown, Michigan.

Read the entire article GM and Honda create Michigan-based joint venture for mass production of fuel cell systems