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PSA finalises acquisition of Opel and Vauxhall

Opel chief executive Michael Lohscheller and PSA Group chief executive, Carlos Tavares (right)

A new-look senior management team at Opel and Vauxhall will present details of its plan to return to profitability by 2020 100 days after PSA Group  finalised its acquisition of the two brands today.

Opel Automobile GmbH chief executive Michael Lohscheller described the completion of the £1.9 billion deal as “historic” as he and his senior leadership team begun work on a new plan to unlock substantial economies of scale and synergies in purchasing, manufacturing and R&D.

Lohscheller said: “We are proud to join Groupe PSA and are now opening a new chapter in our history after 88 years with General Motors.

“We will continue our path of making technology `made in Germany´ available to everyone. The combination of our strengths will enable us to turn Opel and Vauxhall into a profitable and self-funded business. We have set ourselves the clear target of returning to profitability by 2020.”

The addition of Vauxhall and Opel brands to the PSA Group sees it become Europe’s second largest car manufacturer, the two brands adding annual revenue which topped £20 billion in 2016.

But PSA faces the task of turning around the fortunes of the brands which had failed to deliver a profit for GM since 1999.

The Opel/Vauxhall management team will work on a plan with the goal of generating a positive operational free cash flow by 2020 as well as an operating margin of two percent by 2020 and 6% by 2026.

PSA Chairman of the board Carlos Tavares said: “We are witnessing the birth of a true European champion today.

“We will assist Opel and Vauxhall’s return to profitability and aim to set new industry benchmarks together.

“We will unleash the power of these iconic brands and the huge potential of its existing talents. Opel will remain German, Vauxhall will remain British.

“They are the perfect fit to our existing portfolio of French brands Peugeot, Citroën and DS Automobiles.”

The market share of the enlarged Groupe PSA is now around 17 percent in Europe, making it the continent’s second largest carmaker with first or second place in main markets.

The completion of the acquisition of Vauxhall and Opel brings with it four changes to the brands’ management team.

Christian Müller, previously vice-president global propulsion systems will succeed William F. Bertagni as vice president engineering, and has been charged with integrating engineering and powertrain in one department.

Rémi Girardon, previously senior vice -president Group Industrial Strategy at Groupe PSA, will succeed Philip R. Kienle as vice president manufacturing.

Philippe de Rovira, previously group controller at Groupe PSA, will become the new chief financial officer of Opel, following Michael Lohscheller.

And Michelle Wen, group supply chain management network director at Vodafone Procurement, will be joining the Opel leadership team effective September 1, replacing Katherine Worthen who is currently vice-president purchasing and supply chain.


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