29 nov 17

PSA asks money back from GM over Opel emissions

Sources within the French OEM have told Reuters that PSA is reclaiming about half the amount of money it has paid for the acquisition of Opel and Vauxhall from General Motors. The reason? Opel’s powertrains are not as efficient as claimed by GM, making it impossible to meet the EU-imposed CO2 reduction targets.

Fast and costly switch to PSA engines

Peugeot Citroën Automobiles say they have to integrate their own powertrains into Opel models much faster than planned in order to meet the 95 g/km limit over the next three years. Europe will impose considerable fines to carmakers which fail to meet this target by the end of 2020.

PSA allegedly intends to take legal action and claims it is entitled to more than half a billion in compensations from GM, because the latter has provided incorrect information on Opel’s emissions strategy during the negotiations and due diligence prior to the deal, which was closed in March 2017.

PSA under pressure

On November 9, the French OEM’s CEO Carlos Tavares said after revealing the 'Pace!' turnaround plan for the German carmaker that his company “became aware a few weeks after finalizing the closing that the company [Opel – ed.] was going to the wall on CO2 emissions.”

"We put our teams to work to completely rebuild the product and technology strategies," he added. "If you fail to comply, the weight of fines you are hit with can threaten the company's existence." Since the announcement, PSA shares have lost 11 percent of their value on the market.

Hybrid and EV to the rescue

Built by GM in Detroit on the basis of the highly successful Chevrolet Bolt, the electric Opel Ampera-e was supposed to lower the OEMs CO2 levels considerably. However, PSA is allegedly losing €10,000 per unit sold – a situation that can only last for so long. So far, just 1,500 Ampera-e have been delivered, mostly in Norway.

For that reason, PSA needs to pull out all stops to introduce other electric and hybrid powertrains to existing models. A model that is paramount in this context, is the future Opel Corsa, because it generates the necessary volumes to push down Opel’s fleet average.

Source: Automotive News Europe

Authored by: Dieter Quartier