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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 share price drops after GM exit disclosure

Shares of PSA/Peugeot Citroen dropped 12-percent to EUR9.34 on December 13, 2013, Friday, following the announcement by General Motors that it will sell its entire stake in the French carmaker. GM acquired the stake for EUR320 million in 2012 as part of a partnership between the US and French carmaker that was expected to improve their results.

However, the partnership has been struggling to achieve the initial goals, as PSA recently said that savings from the alliance will be 40 percent less than originally planned. The alliance has already been scaled back, and PSA is now seeking to deepen its ties with Chinese partner Dongfeng Motor Corp., which could help it increase sales in China and other growth regions.

GM is allied with SAIC Motor Corp. GM remarked that it will support PSA's alliance with another carmaker provided that their existing partnership continues. Erich Hauser, an analyst with International Strategy and Investment Group in London, remarked that GM's exit from PSA makes it easier for the French carmaker to pursue an agreement with Dongfeng, since the US carmaker and the Chinese company are direct rivals in China.

Read the entire article PSA share price drops after GM exit disclosure

GM to sell 7% stake in PSA via private placement

General Motors will sell its 7-percent holdings stake -- equivalent to 24.8 million shares -- in PSA/Peugeot Citroen through a private placement to institutional investors. GM acquired the shares in February 2012 for around $400 million as part of a partnership with PSA.

“Our equity stake was planned to support PSA in their efforts to raise capital at the time of the creation of the GM and PSA alliance, and that support is no longer needed,” GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky said in a statement. He remarked that their alliance remains strong, with focus on joint vehicle programs, cross manufacturing, purchasing, and logistics. He added that they are making good progress while remaining open to new opportunities.

GM also announced that it has further downsized the scope of the PSA alliance, getting rid of plans to co-develop a common platform for subcompact cars as well as a small, three-cylinder engine. GM now sees the alliance to result to $1.2 billion in cost savings annually by 2018, down from an initial projection of $2 billion.

Read the entire article GM to sell 7% stake in PSA via private placement

General Motors and PSA are scaling back their alliance

General Motors and PSA/Peugeot Citroen are scaling back an alliance announced in 2012. PSA is seeing the possibility of selling a stake to Dongfeng Motors in exchange for an investment while GM is seeking to have greater control of its future in Europe. According to PSA, a planned joint platform for subcompact cars that was the focus the alliance could be cancelled, as “further analysis showed that the business model just wasn't there.”

PSA said in a statement on its quarterly results that planned mid-term synergies of $1 billion for the French carmaker from the alliance may be revised downward. Barclays analyst Kristina Church told Reuters that the plan to replace the Peugeot 208, Citroen C3 and Opel Corsa subcompacts with a common small car was "absolutely key" to the alliance.

She noted that GM appears to have no focus on the alliance with PSA anymore since the US carmaker doesn‘t want to “be partnered with a struggling company.” She added that GM also has alternative methods to turn things around. PSA spokesman Jean-Baptiste Thomas has remarked that the alliance with GM is going on as scheduled, but said that there are projects under review.

Read the entire article General Motors and PSA are scaling back their alliance

The alliance between PSA/Peugeot-Citroen and General Motors Co. may be diminished, a move that may lead to an intensified relationship with Chinese carmaker Dongfeng Motor Corp. PSA said that plans for a joint platform with GM for subcompact cars are "under review," adding that planned mid-term synergies of $1 billion for PSA from the GM alliance may be revised downward.

PSA logged a 3.7-percent drop in revenues in the third quarter of 2013 to EUR12.11 billion ($16.68 billion) from EUR12.58 billion in the same period in 2012. PSA continues to lose market share in Europe this year to Volkswagen and other carmakers.

Its core auto unit suffered a 5.8-percent decline in revenue to EUR8 billion, reflecting "growing pressure on market shares from premium and low-cost brands" and the negative currency effect attributable to the Russian ruble, Brazilian real, Argentine peso and British pound.

Read the entire article PSA/Peugeot-Citroen and General Motors may scale back alliance

PSA/Peugeot-Citroen wants to work with General Motors in the very competitive South American markets to cut its reliance on Europe, Peugeot brand boss Maxine Picat told the Financial Times. He remarked that GM already has a “good scale” in South America.

Picat, however, ruled out working with GM in the Indian market, where the American carmaker operates two sites and where the French company terminated plans for a vehicle plant, since they have decided to focus on China, South America and Russia. Picat has told the Financial Times that these regions are PSA’s key targets outside Europe. GM posted around 1 million in vehicle sales in South America in 2012, or fourfold that PSA sold in the region, the Financial Times said.

The report said PSA is behind Fiat, Volkswagen and Ford in key markets such as Brazil. GM acquired a 7-percent stake in PSA as part of a partnership announced in 2012 to share development of new models and carry out joint purchasing.

Read the entire article PSA wants to work with General Motors in South America

General Motors has no plans to make further investments in PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky reiterated to Bloomberg. He even called the speculation on intensifying the alliance between the carmakers a distraction. Girsky said that all he wants to do is get the current programs to work.

French dailies have reported that France has made a decision to hire an advisor bank for PSA/Peugeot Citroen. According to Le Figaro, France’s move indicates further ties between PSA and GM or with Dongfeng.

GM already invested EUR320 million ($418 million) in 2012 to acquire a 7-percent stake in PSA as part of an alliance that entails joint purchasing and vehicle development. Girsky is in charge of overseeing GM’s bid to curtail losses in Europe by mid-decade as well as and rebuild the Opel brand.

Read the entire article GM confirms no plans for more investments at PSA

The Peugeot family has offered to surrender control of PSA/Peugeot-Citroen as the carmaker revive plans forging closer connection with General Motors' Opel through a capital injection, sources told Reuters. Any agreement merging PSA with Opel would encounter major political opposition since it would result to more site closures and job losses in France and Germany, people privy with the talks told Reuters.

The Peugeot clan is turning to GM after shoving away other potential investors like Dongfeng Motor Group, which is PSA's production partner in China, the sources said. One of the sources told Reuters that PSA is trying to convince GM to merge the French carmaker and Opel since both have the same problem -- excessive production capacity.

The source noted that now that the Peugeot family has accepted that they will lose control of PSA, "this no longer an issue." The Peugeot family owns a 25.4 percent stake in PSA, giving the clan a 38.1-percent command of voting rights in the carmaker. On the other hand, GM holds a 7-percent stake in PSA.

Read the entire article Peugeot mulls giving up PSA control to General Motors

General Motors chief executive Dan Akerson reiterated that the carmaker has no intentions to pour in more money into troubled PSA/Peugeot-Citroen at this time. He added that if they see some changes, they will make an evaluation. The French carmaker is shutting down its Aulnay site and is trimming its workforce by 8,000 jobs to remain afloat.

PSA may need to raise fresh funds by initiating a share sale as it continues to use up cash to finance its operations, two sources privy with the matter told Reuters in May. GM holds a 7-percent stake in PSA and has inked a wide-ranging alliance with the French company in February 2013. GM wrote down around half of its $423 million investment in PSA.

Akerson remarked that one of the premises of the alliance was “we've got to fix our problem, and we've addressed it, and continue to make progress." He remarked that PSA needs to address its own issues, adding that the French carmaker is doing that as well. In February 2013, GM chief financial officer Dan Ammann remarked the US carmaker had no intention to invest further into PSA.

Read the entire article General Motors will not invest further in PSA at this time

Joint vehicle programs will be built by General Motors and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen on the platforms of the French automaker, according to the companies. Additional details of this partnership were presented by PSA CEO Philippe Varin and GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky during a press conference in Brussels. Last year, the automakers introduced a broad-based partnership to share development costs and reduce European losses.

In a release, the companies said that future small cars such as the Opel Corsa and PSA equivalents (the Peugeot 208 and Citroen C3) will be based on an architecture jointly developed from PSA’s current technology. The "EMP2" platform will be shared by the future replacements for the Opel Zafira minivan and Peugeot 3008 crossover that will enter production in the form of Citroen's C4 Picasso minivan.

The successors to the Peugeot 2008 crossover and Citroen C3 Picasso minivans will be in development at GM's engineering center located in Ruesselsheim, Germany. The first vehicles from the shared development programs are expected to arrive in 2016. The automakers said that PSA underpinnings were selected by the alliance for the new cars since they’re more appropriate for the European market. Girsky said that in the Opel Zafira category, there wasn’t sufficient volume to give good reason for doing it on their own.

Read the entire article PSA-GM joint vehicle programs will be built on platforms of the French automaker

Plans made by General Motors and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen for the joint development of a large car have been dropped, the two companies confirmed. Instead, they will broaden their partnership and will be developing a new generation of small gasoline engines. They have agreed to work on three vehicle platforms, with the first models to start selling in 2016, and to establish a purchasing joint venture in Europe as the first projects in their alliance.

These joint projects are: (1) a compact crossover for the Peugeot brand and a compact multipurpose vehicle for GM's Opel and Vauxhall marques; (2) a subcompact multipurpose vehicle that will be used by PSA and Opel/Vauxhall; (3) an improved low-CO2 subcompact-segment platform that will be used for Opel/Vauxhall's and PSA's next generation of cars in Europe and other regions.

According to the statement, the Opel/Vauxhall, Peugeot and Citroen models will be very distinctive and will be entirely consistent with the characteristics of the respective brands. The companies will jointly work on a next generation of high-performance, fuel-efficient small gasoline engines taken from PSA's EB global small gasoline engine program. Earlier this year, PSA presented the EB 1.0-liter and 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine range on the Peugeot 208 subcompact.

Read the entire article GM-PSA drop plans to jointly develop large car, will go for small cars, engines

Talks between General Motors and alliance partner PSA Peugeot Citroen about entering a deeper relationship have stopped due to concerns related to the declining finances of the French automaker and the implications of the government-supported bailout, according to sources. Last February, the companies announced that they’ve agreed to an operational partnership.

The two parties had also started to explore a full merging of Peugeot with GM's European unit Opel, which is headquartered in Germany. Two sources said that the discussions were stopped after Peugeot last month agreed to a state guarantee for its lending arm. Another factor was Peugeot’s revelation that its cash position had weakened further.

One source said that the automakers agreed to hit ‘pause’ on the early-stage discussions about a Peugeot-Opel agreement. He added that the plan is suffering due to the government bailout. Another source said that it’s highly unlikely for a deeper tie-up to take place before 2014, which is when the market is predicted to improve.

Read the entire article GM, PSA suspend talks on a deeper tie-up

Under the alliance between General Motors Co. and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, they will co-develop four projects. In a statement, the companies enumerated the projects that they will share. The first is a joint program for a compact multipurpose van for Opel/Vauxhall and a compact SUV/crossover for the Peugeot brand.

Then there’s a joint multipurpose program for the small car segment for Opel and the Citroen brand. The third is an upgraded low CO2 small-car segment platform for Opel's and PSA's next generation of cars in Europe and other regions. The fourth is a joint program for mid-size cars for Opel and the Peugeot and Citroen brands.

According to the automakers, they are targeting the end of 2016 for when the first vehicles from these common programs will be launched. GM and PSA said that the four projects will be built, using the top platform architectures and technologies from these two companies.

Read the entire article GM to co-develop four vehicles with PSA

General Motors and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen are holding discussions over a possible combination of their operations in Europe as part of the second phase of the partnership deal they signed earlier in the year, sources told Reuters and the French newspaper La Tribune. According to the sources, one of the possible options is to merge GM\'s Opel/Vauxhall unit with PSA\'s automotive operations into a joint venture.

A source told Automotive News Europe that GM could take a 30 percent stake in the joint venture and invest up to $10 billion in the new European firm.  The source said that by taking a 30 percent stake, GM would not have to consolidate Opel\'s financial results, and this would limit the US carmaker’s financial liability.

In February 2012, GM and PSA inked a partnership agreement for joint purchasing of parts and for sharing vehicle platforms aimed at developing several future vehicles. The source told Automotive News that talks on more profound linkup commenced within weeks of the alliance\'s being signed. The source disclosed that GM and PSA have explored different settings for merging operations to eliminate costs including sale of Opel to PSA and a sale of PSA\'s automotive division to GM.

Read the entire article GM, PSA merger could save their European operations

A General Motors plant in Germany may soon produce Peugeot and Citroën models, according to media reports and sources inside the German union. Last February, PSA Peugeot-Citroën and GM revealed that they are entering a global alliance. They plan to share platforms and component modules and form a global joint-venture.

PSA disregarded these reports, referring to them as “speculation.” However, German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung claimed to have viewed model plan proposals that would result in the next-generation Citroën DS5 being built at GM’s Rüsselsheim plant in 2015. This was followed by the next-gen Peugeot 508 in 2016.

The model plans indicate that the two French cars would share a platform with upcoming Insignia models. One of these is a model dubbed by GM planners as the “Country Tourer,” which is expected to compete with the Audi Allroad, says Autocar. From these reports, it can be concluded that the C5 will be replaced by the next DS5. The reports indicate that the Rüsselsheim plant will have a three-shift operation if it will produce the Insignia, 508 and DS5.

Read the entire article Upcoming Peugeot and Citroen models could be built at a GM factory

Partners General Motors and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen are in talks regarding the construction of a joint facility in Brazil, the country's news magazine Veja reported without citing sources. The two companies will decide later in this month of whether to spend 1 billion euros in the project, the Brazilian media revealed.

The Brazilian facility could be constructed in either Rio de Janeiro or Minas Gerais, the magazine stated. However, a spokesperson for PSA dismissed this report, saying that this is "just a rumor." In February, the partner companies establish a joint venture to share automobile platforms and jointly purchase materials and parts.

They anticipate boosting the scope and the size of their product offerings, save billions on purchasing and revive their struggling operations in Europe as a result of their alliance. GM is anticipated to benefit from the assistance of PSA with hybrid technology and the development of smaller models. On the other hand, the French vehicle manufacturer is expected to capitalize on the expertise of GM in SUVs.

Read the entire article Rumor: GM, PSA to build joint facility in Brazil

PSA/Peugeot-Citroen has successfully finalized the capital increase of 1 billion euro to strengthen its planned partnership with General Motors Co., the PSA disclosed. The increase in capital was announced in February. The stock sale was reserved for the current stakeholders. It was 78% oversubscribed according to PSA.

Chief Executive Philippe Varin stated that the sale will enable them to finance investments associated with projects at the "core of the strategic alliance" with GM. On March 6, it was announced that the issue price was 8.27 euros per share. This comprised a 42% discount on the closing price from the previous night.

Shares of PSA dropped by 1.3% to 12.63 euros on Tuesday, before the outcome of the issue was announced. Based on the partnership deal, which was disclosed on February 29, PSA and GM are aiming to achieve more than $2 billion in annual savings from shared logistics and purchasing as well as the joint production and development of automobiles and components.

Read the entire article PSA completes 1 billion euro capital increase, solidifying GM alliance

Ten top-level executives have been named to a steering committee that will manage the new alliance between General Motors and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen. These include GM Vice Chairman Stephen Girsky, PSA CFO Jean-Baptiste de Chatillon, GM CFO Daniel Ammann and GM Europe President Karl-Friedrich Stracke.

PSA’s representatives in this committee also include programs chief Jean-Christophe Quemard and purchasing chief Yannick Bezard. In a statement last Thursday, the partners divulged that joint projects will be launched before the end of 2012. Last month, PSA and GM entered a deal to share vehicle platforms and jointly buy parts and materials.

They are doing this to boost the size and the scope of their ranges, post billions in savings on purchasing, and revive their European operations as the result of their alliance.

Read the entire article GM Vice Chairman, PSA CFO among the 10 top-level executives to manage new alliance

One can easily understand how PSA Peugeot Citroen and General Motors can save money on shared purchasing of components. However, the question of when and how their new-model strategies can combine is still less clear. The partnership will aid GM to cut the number of its worldwide automobile platforms to 14 in 2018 from 30 in 2010.

This is a target that the company has set in 2011. However, it will be several years before the two automakers can line up their model offerings. Moreover, it is vague as to how the alliance will affect the worldwide small-car development center of GM in South Korea.

Aside from diesel technology, small-car expertise is a key aspect of know-how that PSA brings into the partnership. In addition, the partners both offer hybrid technology. Last month, they disclosed that they will introduce jointly developed "low-emission vehicles" in 2016. However, none of them has described the automobiles or the segment they will joining.

Read the entire article GM-PSA pact lowers purchasing costs but method and timeline still unknown

General Motors and PSA Peugeot Citroen appear to be seeing their new alliance in different angles based on the comments that the companies made last week. On one side, it is clear that GM is searching mainly for aid in Europe. It is generally interested in turning the money-losing Opel around. On the other hand, PSA sees the alliance clearly as a global partnership, basking on the influence of the more than 9 million units a year from GM. In short, PSA is seeking a way to boost sales sharply outside the European region just like what any Europe-based automakers will hope for as they battle high costs.

Starting a partnership when the parties are not on the same goal could pose a problem. For one, GM has a history of alliances that did not work out. However, it may be no more than early-days misunderstanding in the midst of the commotion of a car show. Besides, GM CEO Dan Akerson has previously said that the partnership is "a global alliance that's emerging." 

However in recent talks, executives from GM highlighted the benefits for the automaker's loss-making German unit -- Adam Opel AG. They disclosed that the partnership's joint platform development as well as purchasing could help bring Opel out of the red, they said. A top official at GM disclosed that the joint purchasing will be "a big lever, specifically in Europe."

Read the entire article GM and PSA seem to be in disagreement over several alliance issues