PSA Group considering Vauxhall takeover

PSA Group could be about to take over Vauxhall, which employs 4,500 staff at plants in Ellesmere Port and Luton.

The French group, which makes Peugeot and Citroen cars, is in talks about taking over General Motors’ (GM) loss-making European business Opel. Vauxhall is Opel’s UK arm.

In addition to the employees at its manufacturing sites, the company said that 23,000 people worked in the retail network and 7,000 in its UK supply chain.

PSA has confirmed that a takeover was among ‘numerous strategic initiatives’ being considered.

Spokesman Bertrand Blaise said, ‘PSA confirms that it is exploring a number of strategic initiatives with GM with the aim of increasing its profitability and operating efficiency, including a potential acquisition of Opel.’

However, he insisted there was no assurance an agreement would be reached.

An Opel takeover would see PSA Group leapfrog Renault-Nissan to become Europe’s second-largest carmaker behind VW, with a 16% share of the European market.

The PSA announcement comes a week after GM reported a loss of $257m from its European operations last year, the 16th consecutive loss-making year for GM in Europe.