French takeover won’t affect Commodore, Astra – Holden

French takeover won’t affect Commodore, Astra – Holden
French takeover won’t affect Commodore, Astra – Holden

The next Holden Commodore, as well as the just-launched Holden Astra, won’t be affected by the takeover of Opel – which supplies the Astra, as it will the next Commodore – by the French Peugeot-Citroen group (PSA).

In a statement released in early March alongside the PSA and GM announcement, Holden confirmed that the new cars will remain on the market.

"Holden and Opel have had close ties for many years and delivered fantastic vehicles to Australian customers, including the current all-new Astra and the next-generation Commodore due in 2018. The good news is these product programmes are not affected at all," the statement reads.

"We will continue to work closely with Opel and GM to deliver our vehicle plans with excellence and precision. This includes future, new right-hand-drive SUVs like the Equinox and Acadia that were engineered specifically for right-hand drive markets."

Likewise, the PSA and GM announcement confirmed "existing supply agreements" for Holden –  and fellow Opel beneficiary Buick – will continue.

The takeover move establishes the PSA Group as number 2 in Europe, with a 17 percent market share behind the Volkswagen Group, and PSA says this will serve as the basis of profitable growth worldwide.

The move also includes a joint venture in auto financing with international banking group BNP Paribas to support development of the Opel (and sister Vauxhall) brands.

The NZ$3.36-billion deal is said to advance GM’s transformation and will unlock shareholder value through disciplined capital allocation

“We are proud to join forces with Opel/Vauxhall and are deeply committed to continuing to develop this great company and accelerating its turnaround,” said Carlos Tavares, chairman of the managing board of PSA.

“We respect all that Opel/Vauxhall’s talented people have achieved as well as the company’s fine brands and strong heritage. We intend to manage PSA and Opel/Vauxhall capitalising on their respective brand identities. Having already created together winning products for the European market, we know that Opel/Vauxhall is the right partner. We see this as a natural extension of our relationship and are eager to take it to the next level.”

“We are confident that the Opel/Vauxhall turnaround will significantly accelerate with our support, while respecting the commitments made by GM to the Opel/Vauxhall employees,” continued Mr. Tavares.

Mary T. Barra, GM chairman and CEO added: “For GM, this represents another major step in the ongoing work that is driving our improved performance and accelerating our momentum. We are reshaping our company and delivering consistent, record results for our owners through disciplined capital allocation to our higher-return investments in our core automotive business and in new technologies that are enabling us to lead the future of personal mobility.

“We believe this new chapter puts Opel and Vauxhall in an even stronger position for the long term and we look forward to our participation in the future success and strong value-creation potential of PSA through our economic interest and continued collaboration on current and exciting new projects.”

The transaction will allow substantial economies of scale and synergies in purchasing, manufacturing and R&D.

PSA, together with BNP Paribas, will also acquire all of GM Financial’s European operations through a newly formed 50/50 joint venture that will retain GM Financial’s current European platform and team. This joint venture will be fully consolidated by BNP Paribas and accounted under the equity method by PSA.

GM will also participate in the future success of the combined entity through its ownership of warrants to purchase shares of PSA. GM and PSA also expect to collaborate in the further deployment of electrification technologies and existing supply agreements for Holden and certain

Buick models will continue, and PSA may potentially source long-term supply of fuel cell systems from the GM/Honda joint venture.



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