General Motors is reportedly about to sell Opel, including its British doppleganger Vauxhall, to the company that owns Peugeot and Citroen.
Senior officials at GM have confirmed that talks are at an advanced stage, but PSA, which owns three French brands including DS, refused to speculate on whether a deal is imminent or even possible.
The negotiations are said to focus on a full merger of the five brands rather than any parts- or platform-sharing arrangement. For cost-saving reasons the idea has been in the pipeline before, eventually being squashed in 2013 by GM’s sale of 7 per cent of Peugeot stock.
Autocar suggests that PSA’s Chinese partner Dongfeng could front a decisive portion of the cash needed to make the purchase.
If the deal goes through, it could have huge ramifications for the European car industry and could mean heavy job losses with closures of some the the firms’ plants. Vauxhall has a facility at Ellesmere Port in Cheshire where the Opel and Vauxhall Astras have been built since 1981.
The move could be an attempt to challenge the mighty Volkswagen Group’s multi-branded assault on the industry. The German conglomerate currently runs seven car brands, plus several commercial vehicle makers and Italian motorbike builder Ducati.