Economy

Luton could become centre for PSA group's van growth plans

Luton could become centre for PSA group's van growth plans

Furthermore, the company, which is now mainly selling its cars in Europe, announced that it will enter more than 20 new markets.

Speaking 100 days after General Motors sold Opel and Vauxhall to PSA, managers outlined a blueprint that will see the company become profitable again by 2020 and electrify all of its passenger vehicle lines by 2024.

In the announcement, made by newly appointed chief executive of Opel Automobile GmbH, Michael Lohscheller, the firm said all passenger vehicle lines will be electrified by 2024, offering a pure battery electric propulsion or plug-in hybrid version, alongside efficient internal combustion engines.

PSA-owned Opel and Vauxhall will seek to avoid forced redundancies across their European plants, a turnaround cost-cutting plan announced today.

Above: Opel Crossland X is already based on a PSA platform.

It promised four auto models would have electric options by 2020, including a fully electric SUV and its sub-compact Corsa.

Overall, Opel aims to reduce the number of platforms it uses for passenger cars from nine now to two by 2024, with the number of powertrains cut by ten to four. Furthermore, the powertrain families will be reduced from now 10 to four.

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Opel will introduce at least two new cars in 2019 including the Corsa mini, with a larger SUV to follow among a total of nine models or variants promised by the following year - a more ambitious product blitz than previously announced.

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. This "cross-manufacturing" will no doubt help improve utilisation of the division's historically underused plants.

As Opel and Vauxhall's factories are equipped to make cars based on PSA platforms, it's said they could also produce Peugeot, Citroen and DS models.

It also reflects the tougher task of meeting European Union emissions rules with legacy Opel vehicles and engines developed under GM. But is PSA able to do what GM didn't manage so many years?

Marketing, IT, general administration and travel costs will also be reduced. Opel and Vauxhall sold over 900,000 cars a year ago, and still made a loss.

"Very importantly, and I want to address this at the very beginning", said Mr Lohscheller, "our objective is to achieve our goals without plant closures and without forced redundancies in Europe thanks to strong improvements in competitiveness".

He also stressed Opel and Vauxhall will maintain their German and British identities, with its cars maintaining "German precision meets sculptural artistry" design language, as well as their Autobahn-tuned chassis settings.


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