A merged Opel-PSA could be a catalyst for reform of Europe's auto industry
|Luca Ciferri is Automotive News Europe's Editor-in-Chief|
General Motors and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen are mulling combining their toxic assets -- Opel/Vauxhall and PSA's core auto manufacturing arm -- into a joint venture, according to media reports. If the plan goes ahead, it could have big implications for Europe's ailing auto industry.
Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas says a "bad company" comprising the Opel, Vauxhall, Peugeot and Citroen brands could be a catalyst for structural reform in the industry.
"Combining the common interests of large mass-market European auto firms with limited financial resources spanning multiple countries could provide the trigger for the type of capacity exit that saved the U.S. auto industry in 2009," Jonas wrote in a note to investors.
"Properly structured, ring-fencing the Opel liability could be an attractive result for GM stakeholders," he said.
Jonas also said there may be room for more members to join.
A combined Opel/PSA would create a European heavyweight second only to Volkswagen Group, Europe's biggest automaker. Opel-PSA would have an 18.6 percent market regional share, compared with VW Group's 25 percent. The joint venture would be well ahead of fourth-placed Renault Group's 8.5 percent share and fifth-placed Ford's 7.5 percent.
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