Peugeot is letting Opel/Vauxhall choose whether to export cars.Once a global brand, Vauxhall hasn't enjoyed a presence outside of the United Kingdom (its home market) since it was all but merged with Opel decades ago. Peugeot boss Carlos Tavares cautiously suggested that could change in the coming years."Exporting for us is very good, as long as the business plan flies. People get very excited about exports but forget one thing: it can backfire on them because if you want to export, your manufacturing costs need to be really competitive," Tavares told British magazine Auto Express on the sidelines of the Frankfurt Auto Show.
He added Vauxhall needs to keep its manufacturing costs in check, and make sure its build quality is as high as possible. He's not the one drafting the British brand's business plan, however. He's been overseeing the brand since he orchestrated a deal to purchase it from General Motors, but he's waiting for Opel/Vauxhall CEO Michael Lohscheller to present a turnaround plan in November.
"We at PSA are not building the turnaround plan; Opel teams are building the turnaround plan," he explained.
There's no word yet on where Vauxhall would try to gain a foothold. Right-hand drive markets (like Japan, Thailand, Australia, and New Zealand) are a given, especially since PSA's presence in most of those countries is currently limited at best. Tavares has clearly stated he wants to see his group return to the United States one way or another, and Vauxhall could be his ticket in. Nothing is official at this point, though.
Note: Vauxhall Insignia GSi pictured.