General Motors recently closed the sale of the Vauxhall & Opel brands to France’s PSA Groupe. The sale has allowed PSA to become the second largest automotive conglomerate behind Volkswagen Group in Europe, something its executives are certainly proud of.
However, the greater strategy remains to be detailed. Where will Opel go from here? What becomes of Vauxhall? It’s a question Auto Express recently tackled, and it invites more exploration.
PSA is made up of Peugeot, Citroen, its more premium DS brand, Opel and Vauxhall. With some educated guesses, we may be able to understand where the brands go from here, especially if PSA wants to legitimately challenge VW, which spans from budget Volkswagens to high-end Lamborghinis and Audis.
The French automaker has previously said it plans to utilize Opel’s German heritage to its advantage. That is, some consumers simply won’t consider a French car. German engineering and build quality have always had a good ring. With that in mind, it’s possible PSA reshuffles its portfolio to make Citroen its budget brand, Peugeot a mid-market brand, DS a premium car contender and Opel as a German twist on the mid-market. Opel had continuously proved it can offer premium qualities at lower costs under GM anyway.
What about Vauxhall? The original opinion piece says it could replicate Jaguar’s turnaround, though Vauxhall has never been much of a premium name. What it does have is heritage, though, and it’s one of Britain’s surviving marques that build cars in the country. “Built in Britain” also means something to many consumers.
What remains true is the fact PSA’s brand sit much too close to one another as they stand, so it will take some serious repositioning is Vauxhall and Opel both plan to stick around. How PSA plans to manage that remains to be seen, but time will tell.