While Big Deal With GM Fizzles, PSA Plays Footsie With Tata

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
while big deal with gm fizzles psa plays footsie with tata

Ah, those French! With their alliance with GM on les rocks, PSA is casting about for a new partner, just in case “the co-operation with GM and Opel should fail,” writes Germany’s Manager Magazin. PSA and Tata already had first talks, the usually well connected German business magazine says.

PSA CEO Philippe Varin and Tata owner Ratan Tata are old pals: When Varin was CEO of steelmaker Corus, he sold the company to India steel mogul Tata. The Indians successfully took Jaguar Range Rover off Ford’s then trembling hands.

The magazine says its informants at PSA think it could be a good fit: Tata needs new engines, especially advanced diesel mills for a suddenly diesel-crazed Indian market. It also needs advanced smaller and midsized platforms, all of which PSA has.

PSA hopes to develop a joint budget brand with Tata, to compete with Renault’s successful Dacia line. There are ongoing rumors that Renault is planning a super low cost car, also to be developed in and for India. Lastly, Tata has what PSA needs: money.

At first glance, the marriage appears a good fit. CEOs that know and respect each other. Established access to growth market India and Southeast Asian markets. Similar interest in China with different cars. Best prospect: It’s not one half-dead European carmaker being shotgun-wedded to another near-dead European carmaker.

These obviously targeted leaks are too obvious to ignore: First, Reuters Paris reporter Laurence Frost gets an exclusive leaked into his lap, and a day later, Manager Magazin has the sequel, which quickly turns into a flash report at Reuters. Bypassing the usual (and notoriously chatty) local channels, someone is placing stories into trusted and reliable hands.

Meanwhile, Tata and PSA act surprised. Asked whether his company is in talks with PSA, Tata spokesman Debasis Ray told Reuters reporter Andreas Cremer in Berlin: “That is absolutely incorrect.” A chauffée Peugeot spokesman said: “We are still not commenting on the countless rumors about the group.”

Sure. The joint venture that had been put on ice yesterday also never existed.

Join the conversation
2 of 4 comments
  • Vance Torino Vance Torino on Nov 14, 2012

    Sounds plausible. PSA also gets access to JLR luxury platforms for the next generation of French bureaucrat carriage! C'est la vie. Whatever it takes to keep those dreamy Citroens I'm not allowed to buy coming...

  • Bryce Bryce on Nov 15, 2012

    Jaguar Landrover already use PSA/Ford diesel engines and have done for years.

  • Make_light I drive a 2015 A4 and had one of these as a loaner once. It was a huge disappointment (and I would have considered purchasing one as my next car--I'm something of a small crossover apologist). The engine sounded insanely coarse and unrefined (to the point that I wasn't sure if it was poor insulation or there was something wrong with my loaner). The seats, interior materials, and NVH were a huge downgrade compared to my dated A4. I get that they are a completely different class of car, but the contrast struck me. The Q3 just didn't feel like a luxury vehicle at all. Friends of mine drive a Tiguan and I can't think of one way in which the Q3 feels worth the extra cost. My mom's CX-5 is better than either in every conceivable way.
  • Arthur Dailey Personally I prefer a 1970s velour interior to the leather interior. And also prefer the instrument panel and steering wheel introduced later in the Mark series to the ones in the photograph. I have never seen a Mark III or IV with a 'centre console'. Was that even an option for the Mark IV? Rather than bucket seats they had the exceptional and sorely missed 60/40 front seating. The most comfortable seats of all for a man of a 'certain size'. In retrospect this may mark the point when Cadillac lost it mojo. Through the early to mid/late 70's Lincoln surpassed Cadillac in 'prestige/pride of place'. Then the 'imports' took over in the 1980s with the rise of the 'yuppies'.
  • Arthur Dailey Really enjoying this series and the author's writing style. My love of PLC's is well known. And my dream stated many times would be to 'resto mod' a Pucci edition Mark IV. I did have a '78 T-Bird, acquired brand new. Preferred the looks of the T-Bird of this generation to the Cougar. Hideaway headlights, the T-Birds roof treatment and grille. Mine had the 400 cid engine. Please what is with the engine displacements listed in the article? I am Canada and still prefer using cubic inches when referencing any domestic vehicles manufactured in the 20th century. As for my T-Bird the engine and transmission were reliable. Not so much some of the other mechanical components. Alternator, starter, carburetor. The vehicle refused to start multiple times, usually during the coldest nights/days or in the most out of the way spots. My friends were sure that it was trying to kill me. Otherwise a really nice, quiet, 'floaty' ride, with easy 'one finger' steering and excellent 60/40 split front seat. One of these with modern mechanicals/components would be a most excellent highway cruiser.
  • FreedMike Maybe they should buy Twitter now.
  • FreedMike A lot of what people are calling "turbo lag" may actually be the transmission. In this case, Audi used a standard automatic in this application versus the DSG, and that makes a big difference. The pre-2022 VW Arteon had the same issue - plenty of HP, but the transmission held it back. If Audi had used the DSG, this would be a substantially quicker, more engaging car. In any case, I don't get these "entry lux" compact CUVs (think: Cadillac XT4, Lexus NX, BMW X1, etc). If you must have a compact CUV, I can think of far better options for a lot less money. And, no, the Tiguan isn't one of them - it has the Miller-cycle 2.0T, so it's a dog. But a Mazda CX-30 with the 2.5T would fit the bill.