Akerson denies GM may give Opel to PSA
CEO rebuts report that troubled European unit could be handed to French automaker
PARIS/DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors CEO Dan Akerson reiterated that the automaker's Opel unit is not for sale, following a French media report that PSA/Peugeot-Citroen could take over GM's troubled European arm.
"Opel is not for sale," CEO Dan Akerson told reporters at the Detroit auto show today. "It's not to be given away either."
French newspaper La Tribune said PSA could take over Opel with backing from GM and the French state under an option currently being looked at.
GM would be prepared to contribute several billion euros to facilitate the transaction and make it attractive to PSA, La Tribune said in a report today, citing unnamed sources close to the matter.
"The hypothesis is being studied that PSA would take over Opel," La Tribune quoted one source as saying, adding that GM wanted to dispose of the business despite recent management comments that it was not for sale.
The French state could take a stake in Opel as part of any deal, La Tribune added.
Reacting to the report, a PSA spokesman said that a purchase of Opel by PSA did not feature currently among the alliance plans.
GM and PSA unveiled an alliance almost a year ago aimed at saving at least $2 billion annually within five years as the carmakers struggle with a slump in demand and too much capacity in the European market.
Sources told Reuters in October the companies were exploring ways to combine European operations in a second phase of the cooperation, but talks were subsequently halted amid misgivings about the French carmaker's worsening finances and government-backed bailout.
GM said last week that Opel was not for sale. Akerson said GM was reducing losses at the German-based subsidiary with a view to returning Opel to profit by mid-decade.Contact Automotive News