Turmoil at GM’s new European partner PSA Peugeot Citroen. As if rumors of embargo-busting and of an impending guillotining of CEO Philippe Varin aren’t enough, now there are reports that BMW wants out of the hybrid alliance with PSA.
“Divorce announced between BMW and PSA,” France’s La Tribune reports a bit hastily. The paper says BMW wants out because it does not appreciate PSA’s alliance with GM, and because the Bavarians are worried about PSA’s financial stability. Reportedly, BMW wants to buy some or all of PSA’s stake in the joint venture.
Whereas PSA’s supervisory board rushed to Varin’s defense, saying that he has the board’s full confidence (it always makes an executive’s blood curl when that happens,) the statements regarding the divorce are much less forceful.
A PSA spokesman told Reuters: “We are examining the impact of our alliance with GM on the joint venture…It’s clear the alliance changes the conditions of our partnership.”
BMW told Reuters that the conditions of the joint venture have changed since General Motors became PSA’s second-largest shareholder with a 7 percent stake. For the time being, BMW is still “sticking with the venture.”
La Tribune’s sources say to expect an announcement within a few days.
P.S.: BMW was heard of, and its comments are indicative of what BMW thinks the joint venture is still worth:
“We are discussing conditions for the exit of PSA but we will not make any payments,” a BMW spokesman told Reuters.