February 22, 2018

Peugeot speeds Opel technology shift to secure savings

10 November 2017, 01:11 | Austin Hogan

Opel reveals new strategy under PSA Group guidance

2017 Opel Insignia

Peugeot parent PSA Group said on November 9 that its technology will be used in all Opel-Vauxhall models sooner than initially planned to deliver promised savings from its acquisition of the loss-making German carmaker. In order to achieve that Opel will go the way of electrification, with pure battery or plug-in hybrid versions next to the "efficient internal combustion engines".

“PACE! will unleash our full potential. "This plan is paramount for the company, to protect our employees against headwinds and turn Opel/Vauxhall into a sustainable, profitable, electrified, and global company", says Lohscheller.

Wage costs will be pared from about 15 percent of revenue to an 11 percent benchmark as Opel negotiates voluntary departures, early retirements and shorter hours with its workers - part of a broader effort to cut 700 euros of costs per vehicle. Our future will be secured and we will contribute with German excellence to the Groupe PSA development.

Lohscheller said the profitability plan will not see any forced redundancies or closures at plants in Europe, including the Ellesmere Port factory, in Cheshire. First areas of expertise are identified, e.g., faster fuel cells, certain automated driving technologies and driver assistance developments. More so, for efficiency the total number of platforms will be dropped from nine to just two, while powertrain ranges will be downsized from ten to four. Drivetrain families will similarly drop from 10 to four. All models will switch to existing PSA platforms faster than originally expected too.

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The plan calls for all future Opel products to transfer from their current GM-based parts, platforms, and engines, starting with the new Combo van next year, and the all-important new Corsa small hatchback in 2019. This course will be steadily continued with one major launch per year.

The reduction in the number of platforms, as well as launching the two brands to 20 new markets including Argentina, Saudi Arabia and Taiwan, are just some of the plans to stem the enormous losses at the vehicle firm, which amounted to £190 million in the second quarter of 2017 alone.

Intriguingly, Russelsheim will also be responsible for "US market federalisation for vehicles and powertrains", suggesting at least one of the group's brands (Peugeot, Citroen, DS, Opel or Vauxhall) is interested in expanding to the U.S. and Canada.

To foster growth in the financially attractive light commercial vehicle (LCV) business, Opel/Vauxhall will launch new models and enter new markets with the clear goal to increase its LCV sales by 25% by 2020 against 2017.

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