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By 25 February 2017 45 Comments Read More →

Blog : PSA-Opel/Vauxhall deal raises Brexit concerns

Just-Auto’s Dave Leggett has an interesting view of the potential GM-PSA alliance, and how it will affect the associated marques – Opel and Vauxhall – in Germany and the UK.

Read on…


The Chief Executives of GM, Fiat Chrysler and Ford after a meeting with President Donald Trump. US protectionism in the car industry has not been received well, and perhaps the PSA-GM move is a European response to this.

We could see a framework deal for Peugeot’s acquisition of GM’s Opel/Vauxhall operations in a matter of days. The two are clearly at an advanced stage in the discussions and are reportedly at the point of putting a value on the deal. There’s a lot to take into account, though, so don’t be too surprised if it drags on.

Naturally, there is plenty of speculation on how the enlarged company may rationalise a bigger production network to take out cost. Vauxhall’s UK Ellesmere Port plant that makes the Astra could be vulnerable when you consider that it exports 88 per cent of its output – most of it to Europe – and imports all major parts from the EU. Anything that puts added cost on that cross-border trade is a worry.

Exchange-rate movement is changing the playing field

However, exchange rate movement since the summer – sterling depreciation versus the euro of over 10 per cent – lifts margins on Astras shipped from the UK to the Eurozone (costs in cheaper pounds, sales in euros). That helps the UK plant. But on the negative side, the gain is partially compensated by the movement of major parts in the other direction which means those costs in pounds will not be as low in euros as the exchange rate suggests. It is a bit swings and roundabouts.

The main problem on exchange rates for GM is imports of other cars to the UK market from Eurozone plants. They will be under big margin pressure straight away; there are no compensatory cushions (I doubt GM opted to pay significant sums for sterling-euro currency hedging) and small cars like the Corsa tend to come with razor-slim margins. Raising prices is difficult right now, too (a very competitive UK market). I suspect the import of cars to the UK from Eurozone plants is the main source of GM’s latest European losses, rather than the operation of UK plants themselves.


Will the UK-made Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer continue to be built at Ellesmere Port?

The main problem facing those UK manufacturing operations is medium-term in nature: how will post-Brexit trading arrangements (departure set for spring 2019) impact their competitiveness? Trade costs could rise significantly and the ongoing losses in Europe add urgency to the question. This is extremely uncomfortable territory for the UK Government, politically. No government wants a major car plant closure on its hands, but the UK Government has yet to negotiate how the post-Brexit trading arrangements – or any transition to a trade deal that may take five years or more to conclude – will actually look.

So, where does Brexit come in?

The political priority has been to say that migration has to be controlled and, thus far, the UK position appears to be that the UK will therefore leave the European Single Market. That, at the very least, raises the likelihood of increased costs – whether tariffs and/or non-tariff costs applying to cross-border shipments of goods.

There are various levers that the UK Government may want to explore to compensate firms with plants in the UK so that their net competitive position – in whatever scenarios considered – is not impaired, post-Brexit. PSA CEO Carlos Tavares will undoubtedly be interested to hear what the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, has to say on that when he meets her.

This Carlos, like the last one (Nissan’s Ghosn), will be after any concessions or assurances he can get. What assurances can she reasonably offer? She has to be very careful what she says. It’s a very delicate area just ahead of the start of the Brexit negotiations next month; Brussels, Berlin and Paris are sure to be keeping a very close eye on this subject.

Don’t forget the UK market’s importance

When PSA does its due diligence though, it should become aware of the underlying competitive position and productivity of all of its plants, all factors taken into account. And GM’s latest exchange rate losses in Europe perhaps illustrate the advantages of having some natural hedging from manufacturing in the UK sterling area.

Whatever happens, the UK car market is a major one in Europe. And the UK plants could, eventually, make other vehicles as part of a larger PSA-owned group that is sharing platforms and engineering with Opel, for bigger scale economies. Electrification opens up a number of strategic possibilities. UK plants and the UK labour market are also relatively flexible, at least. The UK Government is certainly in the mood to be supportive.


Will Theresa May be able to help Vauxhall’s case in the UK?

It may be some time before the new larger company settles on its European manufacturing structure. How will its highly-integrated European supply chain look though, in respect of UK-EU shipments (in both directions) and the rules and costs that will apply from 2019? We just don’t know and there is a lot of negotiating to be done before we have a good indication of where that is heading.

Mrs May – and the officials briefing her – will need to be on top of their game when Mr Tavares comes to London. The ball is in Mrs May’s court and it will be a tricky one to return. There will be more…

[Editor’s Note: Dave Leggett is the Editor of leading, UK-based Automotive Industry website, just-auto.com]

Posted in: AROnline Blogs

45 Comments on "Blog : PSA-Opel/Vauxhall deal raises Brexit concerns"

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  1. Ian Parker says:

    I don’t think that Ellesmere Port and Luton would have much of a future under PSA ownership. I can’t honestly think why they’d want to buy Opel in the first place but, if they do. why should they keep them open? Building cars in Britain involves the risk of currency fluctuations (the pound has already slumped 20% since Brexit) and, if the current UK Government persists in its kamikazi approach to leaving the EU will probably leave UK products liable to tariffs in entering the EU market.

    The UK’s much-touted “flexible” labour laws will also work against the UK employees as they will be much cheaper to make redundant than German workers. So, say in ten years’ time, what’ll be left of Vauxhall/Opel but for the Griffin or Lightning badge screwed on to Peugeot/Citroen cars.

    • Christopher Storey says:

      You do not seem to realise that the depreciation in the pound has improved the competitive position of cars built in Britain. Like some other posters on this thread, I remain to be convinced that Peugeot is other than a basket case now attempting a last desperate throw of the dice in the hope of survival. Name me one Peugeot product which sells in any numbers outside France.

      • Ian says:

        They sell quite well in Spain Netherlands and Belgium. I have always got the impression they do not do too bad in the UK and Eire. They have just purchased a plant in India, Sales are good in South America. Plus you have the Citroen band which has also branched out into the DS brand too.

  2. Matt says:

    I fail to see why PSA is interested in buying Opel/Vauxhall. They already have 3 mid-market brands that overlap considerably. They are trying to differentiate Citroen as being a quirky value-for-money brand, DS as being premium and Peugeot as the manisteam but as yet there’s not a lot of evidence of these differentiations. Adding Opel to that won’t achieve a lot other than adding some significant short term losses to their books (which aren’t in especially good shape to begin with). Access to Opel’s technology developments could be a factor but a lot of that will be tied up to GM and not necessarily for sale.

  3. Chris C says:

    This might end up like Ford in the UK – stop making cars and let the van division subsequently slowly wither away. The story of Ryton also sets a precedent.

    On another point, what is all this anti-diesel noise at the moment going to do for the UK future of Cummins, Perkins/Caterpillar, Ford, JCB, etc – there is an awful lot of diesel engines made and exported in the UK.

  4. Vinnyboy says:

    I’ve worked on Vauxhall for many years now. They are already a strange mix and match of parts. Fiat Diesel engines, some fiat floor pans, Renault vans and engines, Korean Chevy 4×4 etc etc. GM USA wiring diagrams and very American influenced design suspension and steering on Astra and insignia. Two new models coming soon are Peugeot based as well.

  5. MGJohn says:

    Sadly, when it suits the global considerations, all foreign investment here could be gone, irrespective of Brexit. Plenty of precedents here in the UK and some already mentioned on previous posts. Some, like me, have been banging the negative aspect drum about this for years. Foreign ownership and control. Years ago, the three Japanese-owned factories “invested” here have all indicated when it suits they could upsticks and leave despite massive UK “inducements”. It could be simply a matter of time.

    Over in the USA, Trump is now banging this same export jobs drum. Rocket science it is not.

    Here, in the UK, those we entrust to the Nation’s longer-term well-being have failed and continue to miserably fail the nation as a whole. For far too long they don’t do “longer term”. The harsher sides of short termism never affects them. They are always “I’m alright” so why fix what ain’t broke.

    Just maybe, since June 23rd last year, short termism will become an extinct thing of the UK’s past. Long-term investment and working for a living is for mugs. Buy, asset strip, shut down and run is the way to go.

    Re: Anti-Diesel. Thank the EU for their crookedly misguided slant on emissions which favoured mainland EU producers. UK decision-makers here avidly consumed those stupid EU emissions guidelines without question, anxious to be seen to be doing the right “green” thing. Another drum I’ve been banging for ages…

  6. Martin Green says:

    But at least Ford do make almost all of their European engines in the UK.

    I’d be more worried about the Luton van plant as it builds a Renault product, which surely would be changed as an urgent priority if PSA took over.

    On the positive side, if you have say, a dozen plants within the EU, and two outside, you can hedge better in terms of currency, and should the UK get other trade deals, then PSA could benefit, whilst currently they couldn’t. So I’d wait and see how Brexit materialises.

    However, I’m struggling to see the logic in this takeover. PSA already have two ‘middle market’ brands, and have lost the previous quirkiness/creative engineering that Citroen provided. On top of these similar brands, Opel/Vauxhall sits in exactly the same sector with mirror-image products. VW, at least initially, could position Audi/VW/Skoda/Seat in different sectors, although I think they’ve lost that over time, in that there is now too much overlap of their products. So PSA either stays with the higher costs of separate brand marketing, products, and dealers, or just badge-engineers everything, which the public won’t buy into. They also (presumably) lose the many low cost Korean-built (ex-Daewoo) models that widen GM’s range, and don’t have a ‘Dacia’ equivalent. So they lose at the lower end and can’t gain at the premium end either.

    And, anyway, weren’t PSA almost bankrupt a year back?

  7. David 3500 says:

    Have I missed something here or has Peugeot suddenly become a successful and coveted brand once again?

    The last time I looked it was Peugeot who needed the most rejuvenation within the PSA Group due to offering mediocre products and a lack of design flair (although the TV advertising is getting better). I would have thought getting Peugeot’s recovery up to speed would have been viewed as more of a priority than looking at forming an alliance with G.M. Europe.

    Add to that PSA Group’s financial woes only a few years ago and this news could almost read like a script out of fairyland.

    • David says:

      It makes one wonder if the French Government is stumping up the cash, which of course wasn’t allowed in Rover’s case. Perhaps there are EU rules and different EU rules which apply when the French are concerned?

    • Glenn Aylett says:

      Apart from the 108 and a few 3008 people carriers, new Peugeots have become almost invisible locally. I wonder if they’re wanting Vauxhall because their market share in Britain is a lot bigger and labour costs are lower in Britain.

      Mind you, Peugeot’s last purchase in this country, Chrysler, which was renamed Talbot after the takeover, proved painful for them and people in Scotland have never forgiven them for closing Linwood, and eventually Ryton was run down and closed.

  8. AndrewP says:

    In the grand scheme of things the UK is background noise as the big issue is over capacity in Germany and France.

    I can see Ellesmere Port surviving as it is so efficient and flexible but think Luton is vulnerable as PSA’s van interests do not include Renault and the real estate is so valuable.

    • maestrowoff says:

      Agreed – Luton produces a largely Renault-designed van, and I doubt Renault would want the plant themselves. PSA have their own facilities elsewhere to make Sevel vans.

  9. Well, by way of a quick point of information and if any AROnline readers wish to do a spot of number-crunching, PSA Group published this Press Release last Thursday:

    “Push to Pass” first year: record profitability and success of commercial launches, PSA Group, 23rd February, 2017

    PSA Group’s “net financial position of manufacturing and sales companies was €6,813 million at 31st December 2016.” Bloomberg has reported Chief Financial Officer Jean-Baptiste de Chatillon as saying that, with those resources, “we are ready to grab opportunities” and that PSA can now deploy some of the cash accumulated since its recovery to “make profitable investments.”

    Interestingly, in the same article, Bloomberg suggests that General Motors’ European operations are “potentially valued at about $2 billion.” Here’s the relevant link:

    PSA Chief Lays Out Vision for `European Champion’ With Opel Deal, Ania Nussbaum, Bloomberg, 23rd February, 2017

  10. ExPatBrit says:

    50 years ago there were car factories making several models with most of the parts sourced locally.

    A single factory with a global supply chain making one model is probably not viable. GM couldn’t do it, PSA is not more credible.

    If UK/ EU impose tariffs it’s done.

    I have heard they will only guarantee employment for 3 years. By then UK will be fully Brexited and they will probably shift next model of Astra assembly to Eastern Europe.

  11. maestrowoff says:

    PSA have just got back into profit. Taking on the loss-making GM Europe operations seems a massive risk, when both companies are strong in the same low margin sectors in Europe (small to medium hatchbacks and crossovers) and weaker in larger cars, especially PSA.

    Leaving aside the British angle, I can see a lot of cutbacks in the German engineering centre, if the next Astra/Insignia are on the PSA medium platform.

  12. LeonB USA says:

    To me, PSA is fearing that they must take over someone to become bigger or face being taken over by another company. They may be desperate to take over GM Europe and GM wanting out to concentrate on China and North America.

    Any deal with GM is loaded with issues. Some North American as well as China model GMs are based on Opel/Vauxhall models, it would make a mess for GM’s models in those markets. PAS has strong interests in China.

    PSA has no interest to re-enter the NA market. The European companies like PSA are getting squeezed by Hyundai/Kia, Toyota, Honda, and to a lesser extent, by Nissan and Mazda. There is the shift of smaller models to Eastern European plants, and big cars (Mondeo class and higher) dominated by M-B, BMW and Audi.

    I don’t see any advantage in PSA taking over GM Europe.

  13. daveh says:

    Only things I can see that PSA might get from this is bigger market share, and a German brand which it can try and push upmarket and sell on perceived quality as per VW, as French brands have had a bad rep since the 1990s.

    I think Vauxhall’s days as a brand may be up – however, Ellesmere Port’s quality and efficiency record means it is likely to stay – Luton, as has been stated in previous posts, is likely for the chop.

  14. Cliff says:

    One possibility no one has mentioned yet is for Ellesmere Port and/or Luton to remain as a UK manufacturing facility making not-yet-obsolete cars specifically for the UK market post-Brexit.

    The logic is this – PSA manufacture the latest models in Europe for the EU and world markets, then after 5 years or so move the production lines to the UK to continue manufacturing in smaller numbers just for the UK. This way they extend the life of the model (which results in lower unit costs) and avoid tarrifs on importing completed cars from Europe.

    The downside for us Brits, of course, is we’d be one model cycle behind the rest of the world – but we got used to that in the ‘golden years’ when the UK motor industry was wholly British owned.

    • Glenn Aylett says:

      Well ,the HC Viva managed to have a very successful nine year life at Ellesmere Port, same as the car derived from it, the Chevette. Maybe an Astra with an extended life, a low price and less advanced technology could do quite well here and maybe be exported like a British version of a Dacia. Not everyone likes overly complicated infotainment( a radio, CD player and seperate satnav is enough) and too many electronics in a car.

      • Hilton D says:

        That’s an interesting notion Glenn, not everyone needs or wants every gadget in a car, so base trim Astras could find buyers coming out of Ellesmere Port. The downside is that PSA could build base trim Astras in somewhere like Romania (like Dacia).

      • Will M says:

        Skoda are finding plenty of buyers with the Rapid, which fits this bill as a no frills basic family car based on old VW tech (part Polo/Fabia platform, part old Golf platform).

        The Seat badged version – Toledo – isn’t as successful, though it was never really marketed.

  15. Will M says:

    It’s like a rerun of Chrysler Europe all over again, albeit they’ll still have the original brands (other than GM on parts markings).

  16. Hilton D says:

    This news has concerned me since I first heard it. Despite a supposed trade deal on offer by the USA, the fact that GM may sell Vauxhall and Opel to PSA (after owning it since 1926?) does not bode well.

    Given that the UK is leaving the EU eventually and PSA already closed Ryton in recent years, I feel little loyalty or support will be given to Vauxhall’s UK workforce. It could be that Astra production is transferred to France or elsewhere in mainland Europe(?). Stage 2 may then be deleting the Vauxhall brand and standardising on the Opel name. UK dealers perhaps would all become Opel dealers.

    I believe that Ellesmere Port and Luton produce quality vehicles these days and it would be tragic to lose them. Fingers crossed, the UK Government will back them all the way and stand firm about any closures. I hope my pessimistic view is wrong, of course…

  17. Erik Loye says:

    It seems to me that a lot of Brits didn’t think far ahead when voting yes for Brexit. With Brexit, it will be very difficult for Britain to export to mainland Europe and the range of car models on sale in Britain will decrease. British-made cars exported to the EU will be less competitive due to tariffs.

  18. Paul says:

    PSA have probably picked a good time to do this deal. The Conservative Government will be so desperate not to see a chunk of British manufacturing vanish in the middle of Brexit that they’ll offer to pay all Ellesmere Port costs and buy all their cars and pay double for them! Honda, BMW, VW, Toyota all form an orderly queue – although Nissan, of course, got to the party first.

  19. maestrowoff says:

    I don’t entirely see why Brexit is being “blamed” for any potential closures. Dagenham (cars), Southampton (vans), Luton (cars), Ryton and Linwood all have closed since we’ve been in the EU.

    GM Europe is losing money. PSA are barely out of the mire themselves. Even if there was no Brexit, the UK operations would be potentially vulnerable from the takeover of a German headquartered business by a French one. If you don’t produce in those countries, then the main option is somewhere cheap, i.e. Eastern Europe, Turkey and to an extent Spain.

    We even see cars being imported from India, such as the Ford EcoSport. That’s the reality of multinational production – unless you adopt protectionist policies a la Trump…

    • Cliff says:

      It’s not a case of “blaming” Brexit for the PSA/GM situation but more a case of highlighting why Brexit makes UK manufacturing more vulnerable when long-term decisions are being made by Global companies.

      Businesses want to minimise risks. There is currently a higher risk for businesses deciding to manufacture in the UK rather than somewhere else in the EU.

      It doesn’t mean all manufactures will simply up sticks and leave, but when the time comes for them to make critical decisions – eg where to manufacture the next Astra – they will be looking very closely at the pros and cons of every potential location.

      In 10 or 20 years time it’s very possible that the tide will turn the other way and the UK will become the best place to manufacture once again. But who knows ? And in the meantime I think it’s reasonable to expect to see more manufacturing jobs being exported than imported.

      • Kev says:

        I’m sorry, but your opening remarks are utter rubbish. Being a member of the EU doesn’t make any difference in the way you allude to. The fact is, the UK has some of the weakest labour protection laws and unions in Europe. Or perhaps you hadn’t noticed what Ford did while we were in the EU? Or the huge run down of GM business? British employees are cheaper and easier to get rid of than German ones. It’s as simple as that. This was the case for years, before ‘Brexit’ was even thought of.

        • daveh says:

          Brexit is an issue. Employers will not invest long term when they do not know what the situation will be. Nissan may have announced investment but that does not mean they will close the plant down – I makes you wonder what TM offered?.

          However Ford have just shown their worries this week with the news that Bridgend could close with the loss of 1000 jobs – Ford have suspended any investment plan for the new Dragon engines until Brexit is clearer.

          It’s a case of normal business practice – you don’t invest unless you know the quid pro quo – and with no idea what will happen against the same old of the EU will see investors not look at the UK for major investment until Brexit is resolved. The dropping value of the pound proves this clearly.

          • hurricane hicken says:

            The loss of Bridgend is nothing to do with Brexit. Ford are making engines for JLR as a legacy of their ownership before Tata took over. Those will stop soon as JLR expand their production at Wolverhampton, and that is what is causing these job losses. See recent anouncement on this site about Ingenium. JLR clearly thinks it can make it’s own engines better/cheaper.

            Ford were I think trying to sell the Dragon to other makers, and it doesn’t look like it’s been a sucess. They also say productivity is around 6% below Dagenham, so it sounds like the Dragon is now going to be a lower volume engine made in another plant.

            This is not Brexit, just business. If anything, the fall in Sterling since 23rd June should make the UK engines more competitive, but my guess is they will build the Dragon engines in Dagenham and close Bridgend.

        • Cliff says:

          Kev, you’re not wrong about our labour laws giving UK manufacturing an advantage over other EU countries, BUT….. once we’re outside the EU that particular advantage will be weakened by other disadvantages of the UK being outside the EU. Only time will tell.

          And doesn’t the fact we need to fall back on our dis-advantagous labour laws suggest the UK needs a leg-up when competing with countries in the rest of the EU ?

          • Kev says:

            Would that be the same leg-up those on the European mainland have? Labour protection laws that the UK has never had – in or out of the EU? UK workers have never had the protection that French and especially German workers have enjoyed for 30+ years. The EU provided nothing for the UK car industry, other than an overinflated value of the pound. Post Brexit, the pound has found it’s true value. My employer has a very full order book! And about 85% of our cars are LHD exports!

  20. mm says:

    If PSA buy the Plant, does it mean they will continue to build the Astra or will they adapt the Plant to build non-Vauxhall PSA cars?

  21. GTS says:

    I have a horrible feeling that we are over thinking this a bit, I sort of think that what PSA are actually doing is buying up a rival and then looking to eliminate some competition. GM probably fits the bill as it’s main success stories compete exactly in the sectors that PSA wish to be strong in…208/308 Corsa/Astra and more fundamentally they are the most vulnerable of the big 6 producers in Europe.

  22. daveh says:

    to hurricane hicken

    Well The Ford News last year stated that Ford were looking at making the new smaller capacity Dragon Engine solely at Bridgend, with a small number of jobs being lost due to the drop off in Jag engine production. Ford have basically put the whole Dragon engine plan on hold – though work is still going on with development – basically because they want to hedge their bets.

    Also Bridgend is actually making the more time consuming to manufacturer V8, so efficiency is actually skewed against Dagenham, which is in fact one of Ford’s most efficient plants. However there has been rumours that Ford are also looking at this plant’s future too because of Brexit and what might happen.

    • maestrowoff says:

      Ford seem to want to dramatically scale down engine production there, even after taking into account the loss of the Jaguar facility, with the new generation engine being produced in much smaller numbers.

      I’ve seen some strange numbers concerning the number of Jaguar engines made there, which are just the V6 and V8 petrol engines which can’t be that high, 100k at most?

  23. Ian says:

    I am with others on this linking this move and it’s results to Brexit as a bit too far.
    Here in Spain Opel has a large factory in Zaragoza where it presently assembles the Corsa, Mokka & Meriva.
    PSA has a car also begin built in the same factory the C3 Picasso.
    PSA has it’s own factories in Spain Vigo (Said to be the biggest of all PSA plants)and near Madrid.It is the one in Madrid that could be under threat if this take over goes ahead. It is presently under capacity and so it Opels larger plant in Zaragoza. The later is more up to date.
    The PSA group has joint manufacturing plants around the EU.
    I have read that the Opel Zafira was being produced in a French PSA factory. (Is that correct?).

  24. Glenn Aylett says:

    Sad thing is, for all the new Astra is a successful car and keeps Ellesmere Port in business, this is the only car with a Vauxhall badge that’s made here and the former Bedford commercial business now merely makes a Renault based van. Since most other Vauxhalls are European imports and most of the parts used by Vauxhall here are imported, might not PSA do what they did to the former Rootes factory 11 years ago, which only assembled one model, and pull the plug?

    • ExPatBrit says:

      If I were a Vauxhall employee I am not feeling the love right now. GAME OVER for Luton!

      A single model car plant is not sustainable especially if import/ export barriers are put in place.

      Next Astra will be probably built in eastern Europe.

      Checkout http://www.Talbot.co.uk if you don’t believe me!

  25. Glenn Aylett says:

    I’m old enough to remember Vauxhall’s glory years in the eighties when the British built Astra, Belmont and Cavalier were big sellers and they had two successful car factories employing 13,000 staff( unlike 2500 now making one car). Also there was the Bedford commercial business making successful car derived vans and the CF van, although it was game over for the lorry business by the mid eighties with their aged products. Now all we have is the Astra and a van based on a Renault.
    However, Vauxhall Opel as a whole is a big player in Britain, being the second best selling manufacturer, and their products are successful in Spain, Germany, the Low Countries and Eastern Europe. I can maybe see why PSA are interested as the parent company isn’t doing that well and seems to be propped up by Citroen.

  26. Glenn Aylett says:

    You see very few Peugeot 308s, the direct competitor to the Astra, which is still a huge seller in Britain and across Europe. Maybe Peugeot’s recent woes with the 308 can be attributed to the 307, a car that was dogged with reliability issues and indifference from PSA, and was an unworthy successor to the 306, which was built in Britain as well as France and generally had a good reputation. Also while the 208 is a better car than the hit and miss 207, it doesn’t seem a common sight on the roads, unlike the Corsa. Perhaps PSA is maybe looking at developing a joint Vauxhall Opel/ Peugeot range to replace the 208 and 308 that haven’t been doing much and to cut out a major rival.

  27. mnm says:

    The point as to the modest number of new Peugeot cars sold in the UK compared to the past brought the situation of Renault to mind, 10 years ago Renault UK had sales of almost 200,000 cars per annum and were a major player behind Ford and Vauxhall. Today Renault badged cars sell a fraction of 200,000, around 70,000 per annum. Perhaps Peugeot are looking at buying Vauxhall to recover lost sales and market share, as Renault pursue a similar goal with their Dacia brand.

    • Glenn Aylett says:

      Problem with French cars is they’re complicated to fix and any sort of failure on them is very expensive. Vauxhall at least make cars that are simple to fix when they go wrong and most mechanics understand them. Peugeot have had some bad reliability issued with their 7 badged cars, that has hit sales,and maybe getting hold of Vauxhall is like Renault buying Dacia.

  28. Nige says:

    PSA are highly likely to close the Vauxhall factories if they are allowed to buy GMs European arm. They have previous form as we all know having previously bought Chryslers European arm and subsequently closed the UK factories.

    Where are they getting the money from for this purchase. If indeed the French government are involved then yet again they must be breaching EU state aid laws.

    I personally only buy Japanese cars and wouldn’t dream of buying a French motor as my perception is that they are poorly built, unreliable rubbish. However, PSA do appear to sell a lot of cars in the UK so clearly not everyone has the same opinion as me. Post exit from the single market, if the UK is forced to pay trading tariffs then it stands to reason that the UK will retaliate with import tariffs on European goods. This will mean that PSA vehicles will be substantially more expensive than they are now. Japanese and Korean cars will be relatively cheap. Who would buy a Peugeot or Citren in that environment?. I wonder if PSA have factored this into their plans for paying back the French government?

    Perhaps keeping the UK factories open might make more sense to hedge their bets……

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