GM axes deal with Peugeot Citroen: how it helps Vauxhall
Strange as it sounds, the sale of GM’s 7% share it only just bought in Peugeot is good news for Vauxhall buyers. The reason is that it is the last stage of GM’s plan to improve the plight of Opel and Vauxhall by getting rid of all the distractions and focusing on improving the cars and the marketing.The Peugeot move has to be seen in the context of GM pulling Chevrolet out of Europe only a few weeks ago. Executives at Opel had publicly wondered why GM was selling a Chevrolet Traxx as well as the near-identical Opel/Vauxhall Mokka – the concern was that Chevrolet was doing as much damage to its sister brands as it was to the competition. By getting rid of Chevrolet in Europe and selling its shares in Peugeot, GM is sending the strongest possible signal that its future in Europe lies 100% with Opel and Vauxhall.GM is sending the strongest signal that its future in Europe lies 100% with Opel and VauxhallThat will come as a welcome boost to both Vauxhall workers and dealers, after years of uncertainty. GM publicly tried to sell Opel and Vauxhall when it went bust in 2009. At the time, Fiat was a bidder but the German government vetoed Fiat’s plan to close German car factories (to Germans, car factory closures are what happen in other countries).The German government wanted GM to sell to a Magna Steyr, an Austro-Canadian car components supplier which had Russian backing – although why they were keen on a deal with a Russian backed organisation that had no experience of running a car company, is anyone’s guess. Eventually GM decided it had to keep its European operation and has been stumping up cash to cover the losses ever since.