Yesterday, La Tribune in Paris had it on good authority that moribund Opel and the carmaking arm of PSA Peugeot Citroen would be merged into a joint venture.Reuters started digging a bit deeper and can say with conviction that “General Motors and PSA Peugeot Citroen are exploring ways to combine European operations in a second phase of the carmaking alliance they forged to save costs earlier this year.” They just don’t know yet how.
Reuters heard from three sources that the original alliance deal in which GM became PSA’s second largest shareholder after the Peugeot family was meant as phase one of a bigger deal: Combine Opel and PSA, one way or the other.
There are several ways to do that. According to Reuters’ sources, the options are “selling Opel to Peugeot, buying Peugeot’s automotive business or putting them all together in a new entity.”
GM paid 320 million euros for a 7 percent stake in Peugeot. Whatever the deal will be, it will cost more money. Both companies come with huge obligations, and closing factories is very expensive in Europe. The 7 percent share already lost a lot of its value.
Neither automaker wanted to comment on the rumors, but nobody denied them outright. “We haven’t commented on previous reports and we’re not going to on this one,” Peugeot spokesman Jonathan Goodman said. GM spokesman Selim Bingol said in an emailed sibyllinic statement: “We don’t comment on speculation. We are focused on earning the benefits from our alliance with PSA that we have identified.”