GM might be jumping ship on the European market.General Motors has announced that it is weighing the sale of its European Opel and Vauxhall brands to France's PSA Group.GM said in a statement released on Tuesday that the sale is far from finalized, but confirmed that it is holding talks with PSA Peugeot Citroen to unload its Opel and Vauxhall divisions. "PSA Group and General Motors confirm they are exploring numerous strategic initiatives aiming at improving profitability and operational efficiency, including a potential acquisition of Opel Vauxhall by PSA."
However, GM added that "there can be no assurance that an agreement will be reached," giving the companies an out should the deal fall apart.
GM and PSA struck an alliance in 2012 when GM purchased a 7 percent stake in the French automaker for about $400 million. The partnership was expected to save the automakers about $2 billion per year through synergies in purchasing and joint vehicle development, but the deal never lived up to expectations. As a result, GM began the process of divorcing from PSA in late 2013.
Although Opel and Vauxhall haven't exactly been the rockstars of the GM portfolio, they have been performing reasonably well over the last several months. In 2016 combined sales of the brands grew by 46,000 units to 1.6 million vehicles, netting a market share of 5.73 percent. Moreover, GM has already pulled the plug on the Chevrolet brand in Europe, meaning the company will essentially be abandoning the European market if it sells Opel/Vauxhall.
Last year GM lost $300 million in Europe, which was an improvement over the $800 million the company lost in the region in 2015. GM also notes that it would have likely broken even in 2016 had it not been for Brexit.