General Motors Sells Opel and Vauxhall to PSA

At a press conference held in Paris on Monday, the transfer of the automobile brands Opel and Vauxhall from the American giant General Motors to the French PSA group, owner of Peugeot and Citroën, was formally announced. The sale, worth €2.2 billion, will turn the latter into the second biggest car manufacturer in Europe, after Volkswagen.

The President of General Motors, Dan Ammann, declared that among the factors affecting the company’s decision to sell two of its unprofitable European automakers were the plunge of the pound caused by the result of the referendum on Britain’s exit from the European Union and the environmental policies which will be implemented in the EU to regulate emissions of air pollutants, requiring significant investments in electric vehicle technologies. The newly inaugurated Trump administration of US President Donald Trump also seems to have influenced the move:  when asked about this at the event in Paris, Chairwoman and GM CEO Mary Barra replied that her company took into consideration “the changing landscape from a regulatory, a geopolitical and customer preference standpoint”.

A joint statement made by the company announced that PSA will partner up with the French bank BNP Paribas to take over the financial side of running Opel and Vauxhall from GM.

After three years of crisis involving considerable job cuts and large debts,  this expansion of PSA  shows a sudden change in the group’s fortune, which already started in 2015, after its Chinese partner Dongfeng and the French government acquired stakes in the company. This led to measures which managed to cut costs, decrease the debt of the PSA and turn a profit, ultimately allowing it to purchase Opel and Vauxhall. On the other hand, General Motors is expected to gradually retreat from Europe, a process which began in 2015 with its withdrawal from Russia.

English – German glossary:

worth (wɜːθ) = im Wert von

the latter (ˈlætə(r)) = die Letztere

car manufacturer (kɑː(r) ˌmænjuˈfæktʃərə(r)), automaker (ˈɔːtəʊmeɪkə(r)) = Autohersteller

unprofitable (ʌnˈprɒfɪtəbl) = unrentabel

plunge (plʌndʒ) = Sturz

environmental policy (ɪnˌvaɪrənˈmentl ˈpɒləsi) = Umweltpolitik

to implement (ˈɪmplɪment)= umsetzen

emission (iˈmɪʃn) = Ausstoß

air pollutant (eə(r) pəˈluːtənt) = Luftschadstoff

to inaugurate  (ɪˈnɔːɡjəreɪt) = einführen

CEO (ˌsiː iː ˈəʊ) = Geschäftsführerin

to take into consideration = berücksichtigen

landscape (ˈlændskeɪp) = Landschaft

regulatory (ˈreɡjələtəri) = regelnd

standpoint (ˈstændpɔɪnt) = Standpunkt

joint statement (dʒɔɪnt  ˈsteɪtmənt) = gemeinsame Erklärung

to partner up (ˈpɑːtnə(r) ʌp) = zusammenschließen

to take over = übernehmen

to run (rʌn) = (hier) leiten

job cut (dʒɒb kʌt) = Stellenkürzung

debt (det) = Shuld

expansion (ɪkˈspænʃn) = Erweiterung

change in fortune = Schicksalswende

to acquire (əˈkwaɪə(r)) = erwerben

stake (steɪk) = Anteil

to lead to sth = zu etw führen

to turn a profit = Gewinn machen

ultimately (ˈʌltɪmətli) = letztendlich

to purchase (ˈpɜːtʃəs) = kaufen

to retreat (rɪˈtriːt) = sich zurückziehen

withdrawal (wɪðˈdrɔːəl) = Rückzug

Scroll to Top