What does the future hold for our imported Commodore?

General Motors and the PSA Group, owners of the Peugeot, Citroen and DS marques, have confirmed they are discussing a sale of Opel and Vauxhall to the French car maker.

Overnight, the automakers released a statement to the media and the markets that they are discussing the "potential acquisition of Opel [and] Vauxhall" by the PSA Group.

Talks on a potential takeover of GM's European brands are currently being held as part of wider discussions regarding the existing co-operation between the two companies, including "additional expansion" and "numerous strategic initiatives".

Although talks are ongoing, both car companies cautioned that "there can be no assurance that an agreement will be reached".

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Above: Opel Crossland X.

The French and American automakers are currently working together on three vehicle projects for Europe, including the Crossland X/Citroen C3 Picasso/Peugeot 2008, and Grandland X/Peugeot 4008.

These shared vehicle projects sprang from the time, between 2012 and 2013, when GM was the second largest single shareholder in the PSA Group with a seven per cent stake.

Following a recapitalisation of the company in 2014, the French government, the Peugeot family, and Chinese car maker Dongfeng each now own around 14 per cent of the PSA Group.

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Above: The next-generation Holden Commodore courtesy of Opel.

During its bankruptcy in 2009, GM considered a sale of its European operations. In the end, GM kept Opel and Vauxhall, but sold off Saab.

Since then, Opel has been more tightly integrated into GM's global product plans. Various Opel models help to flesh out the Buick range, with the Opel Mokka sold as the Buick Encore and the Opel Insignia rebadged as the Buick Regal.

On a local level, the Opel Astra hatch is sold as a Holden, and the new Opel Insignia liftback and wagon will arrive down under as the fully-imported replacement for the Holden Commodore.

It's not clear how Holden and Buick's product plans will be altered in the medium term if Opel and Vauxhall are sold to the PSA Group.

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Above: Peugeot 308 wagon.

GM's motivation for selling its European operations may come from continuing losses on the Continent. Opel/Vauxhall lost US$257 million ($338 million) in 2016, and US$813 million ($1.1 billion) in 2015.

According to the BBC, GM's European operations have lost a total of over US$15 billion ($19.7 billion) since the turn of the century.


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