Vauxhall-Opel returns to profit under new PSA ownership

by Autocar UK 24 Jul 2018


Vauxhall-Opel has returned to profit for the first time since 1999 after being acquired from General Motors (GM) by France's PSA Group last year.

As revealed in PSA’s annual financial results, the two brands posted operating profits of €502m (Rs 3,837 crore) in the first half of 2018, compared with a loss of $257m (Rs 1,623 crore) in 2016 – Vauxhall-Opel’s last full year under GM ownership.

The results can be partly attributed to PSA CEO Carlos Tavares’ ambitious cost-saving plan for Vauxhall-Opel, which intends to bring the two brands to an operating margin of 2% by 2020. New models, such as the Insignia Grand Sport and Grandland X, have also boosted sales across Europe.

PSA, which already consisted of Peugeot, Citroen and DS brands, bought Vauxhall-Opel alongside GM’s European financial operation for £1.9 billion in November 2017. The deal made PSA the second-biggest-selling car group in Europe after the Volkswagen Group, with a 17% share of the market.

The results can be partly attributed to PSA CEO Carlos Tavares’ ambitious cost-saving plan for Vauxhall-Opel, which intends to bring the two brands to an operating margin of 2% by 2020. New models, such as the Insignia Grand Sport and Grandland X, have also boosted sales across Europe.

PSA, which already consisted of PeugeotCitroën and DS brands, bought Vauxhall-Opel alongside GM’s European financial operation for £1.9bn in November 2017. The deal made PSA the second-biggest-selling car group in Europe after the Volkswagen Group, with a 17% share of the market.

The acquisition has helped the PSA Group boost revenues by 40% so far in 2018, up to €38.6 billion (Rs 295,058 crore), with operating profits up 48% to €3 billion (Rs 22,932 crore).

Tavares recently told Autocar UK that Vauxhall-Opel would shake off its long history of loss-making and become “a true European champion” under the group. It will officially end links with GM in 2024, moving every model over to two modular PSA platforms.

Lawrence Allan