Stop us if you’ve heard this one before. Unlike the poorly interpreted plans for Mazda to be a “premium” brand, PSA really is planning to take Peugeot upscale, despite having zero brand equity, an upscale Citroen line and zero exposure to the profit center of the future, low-cost cars.
After approving a $1.6 billion loan guarantee for PSA’s captive finance arm, the European Commission demanded a restructuring plan for all of PSA within six months.
It’s safe to say that 2012 was PSA’s annus horriblus. From job cuts to a shaky alliance with GM to bond rating downgrades, everything that could have gone wrong for Peugeot-Citroen ended up happening. And 2013 may not be much better, as the prospect of a bailout looks ever more like reality.
PSA is still faced with the structural problems that dog pretty much every car maker in Europe; a weak economy, rampant overcapacity and a demographic deck stacked against growth in the new car market. Unlike chief rival Renault, PSA has failed to expand its horizons beyond Europe, with little in the way of low cost offerings for emerging markets. On top of that, attempts by PSA at exercising financial prudence, like cutting jobs and closing factories, have been met with outrage in France. A proposed alliance with General Motors has produced little in the way of any tangible results.
The French government is denying that it plans to acquire a stake in PSA, but France’s Prime Minister told reporters that mechanisms for providing government assistance have already been vetted.
If GM wants to know what will happen when things get tough at its Opel plants, all it has to do is ask partner PSA. Workers at PSA’s doomed Aulnay plant “face jeers and threats, as well as eggs and other objects hurled by striking colleagues protesting against the shutdown and Peugeot’s restructuring plans,” as Reuters reports from the frontlines. (Read More…)
GM’s CEO Dan Akerson gave an interview to Norihiko Shirouzu, one of the best men in Reuters’ impressive stable of automotive writers. Akerson disclosed two very scary pieces of information:
- GM hinged most of its emerging markets strategy on its Chinese JV partner SAIC
- GM will hinge most of its emerging markets strategy on SAIC and PSA (Read More…)
We at TTAC are very excited by modular platforms, and it has nothing to do with undiagnosed autism spectrum disorders or a lack of interest in the wider world outside autos. Modular platforms are the next great leap forward for auto makers; green cars help save cute animals, and thus get all the attention, but guess what underpins the Nissan Leaf? A version of Renault-Nissan’s B Platform, which underpins everything from the Cube to the Clio to the Sandero.
What a sexy bride! A year ago, GM acquired seven percent in moribund PSA. A year later, PSA announces truly horrific results. PSA’s global car sales dropped 16.5 percent for the year. Its market share in Europe is down 0.5 points to 12.7 percent. There is a big black hole where there used to be a profitable Iran business. (Read More…)
The French government is pushing PSA Peugeot Citroen to buy Opel, says Le Monde, which claims to have its information from sources at the French Finance Ministry and in the entourage of France’s President Francois Hollande. Buying moribund Opel would allow PSA to stand up to “ogre Volkswagen” which “has chosen to eliminate PSA,” as an informant told the Paris paper.
We did not believe that EU regulators would let France’s government bailout of GM’s alliance partner PSA skate through unchallenged. State aid to companies is against EU rules, and refinancing of Banque PSA Finance is state aid EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia wrote in a letter to the French government. This according to a report in the French daily Les Echos. (Read More…)
Those mysterious gas engines of course are gasoline-fed “three-cylinder engines, designed to comply with Euro VII emissions standards entering force around 2019,” says Reuters. The wire heard from Peugeot that the engines “will bring big savings for both partners.” Further details were not given. (Read More…)
The alliance between GM and PSA is beginning to show concrete results – not just yet, but at least they decided to work on them. In a joint press release, GM and PSA announced that they will jointly work on what they call “three common vehicle platform development projects.” Meaning cars. Finally. (Read More…)