Following reports from France that the merger between PSA Group and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles could be upended by the coronavirus, PSA announced that the media got this one all wrong. While the French automaker admitted that economic problems stemming from the outbreak are indeed concerning, it reiterated its commitment to safeguarding employment while adding that a merger makes even more sense now than before.
Still, there are valid reasons to question the current state of the merger agreement established in December via a memorandum of understanding. COVID-19 has sent global markets into a tailspin, with PSA and FCA seeing their share prices seesawing in the wrong direction over the last two weeks.
It was to be called the Monza.
GM Europe expected to assemble the Opel Insignia-based SUV, roughly the size of the Ford Edge, right alongside the Opel Insignia at its Rüsselsheim, Germany, assembly plant. Which is in Rüsselsheim.
But development of the so-called Monza was either lost in the shuffle or used as a bargaining chip, depending on whom you ask, when Groupe PSA (Peugeot and Citroën) announced the $2.3-billion purchase of its European brands, Opel and Vauxhall. Now it appears the Monza project is suspended, according to AutoExpress, as PSA decides to “freeze all GM-related projects.”
What’s it mean for Buick?
As expected, a transfer of General Motors’ subsidiary Adam Opel AG to European automaker PSA looks to be a done deal.
PSA’s board approved the deal on Friday, with an official announcement planned for early next week. Considering the European peripheral has cost GM $15 billion in losses since 2000, GM probably isn’t terribly sad to see Opel go.
With talks progressing all week, the two automakers focused on differences on about $10 billion worth of Opel outstanding pension deficiencies and a GM request that a PSA-owned Opel would not compete with its own Chevrolet-based lineup in China or in other overseas markets.
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