Opel dismisses report of possible PSA takeover
FRANKFURT -- Opel says a French newspaper report that cited government officials as saying PSA/Peugeot-Citroen should buy the General Motors subsidiary is "pure speculation."
The report, which was published on the Web site of the Le Monde daily, said the aim of combining the French and German automakers would be to create a company capable of challenging Volkswagen's market dominance in Europe.
An Opel spokesman told Automotive News Europe that the report was nothing but "pure speculation." The report cited French officials from the finance ministry and from within President Francois Hollande's inner circle.
In February last year, PSA and Opel unveiled an alliance agreement with the goal of saving at least $2 billion annually within five years, evenly split between the partners. GM, Opel's parent company, paid 320 million euros ($419 million) for a 7 percent stake in PSA as part of the tie up. Under the deal, the two automakers agreed to pool r&d, create a global purchasing joint venture and jointly develop vehicles together.
Both Opel and PSA have struggled against falling sales in austerity-hit Europe as consumers avoid big ticket purchases.
According to the industry organization ACEA, PSA's market share in the EU and EFTA countries fell from 12.5 percent to 11.7 percent in the first 11 months of 2012. In the same period, Opel's share dropped from 7.3 percent to 6.7 percent. By comparison, Volkswagen's market share rose from 23.3 percent to 24.9 percent.
You can reach David Jolley at firstname.lastname@example.org.