PSA Wants GM’s Chevy Bolt Technology; GM Throws Up Conditions
Apparently, the tidy sale of General Motors’ European division to French automaker PSA Group isn’t so clean-cut after all.
According to German publication Der Spiegel, PSA is looking to secure more than just the Opel and Vauxhall brands. It also wants a key bit of gear â€” one that would make the new European alliance market leaders in electric vehicle technology.
GM isn’t willing to let it go without a host of conditions.
Der Spiegel reports that PSA is particularly interested in the Opel Amera-e, the European version of the Chevrolet Bolt. The vehicles’ patents are a key stumbling block in negotiations between GM and PSA.
The American automaker is quite proud of its affordable, long-range EV. Naturally, it’s not willing to let Opel’s potential buyer have the technology out of the goodness of its heart. GM has reportedly said it will license the patents for certain models, including the Ampera-e, only if PSA keeps the vehicles out of North America, Russia and China.
Because PSA’s long-range plans may include a return to the North American market, the clause means that any vehicle sent stateside would have to contain absolutely no GM intellectual property. PSA’s CEO, Carlos Tavares, has said that Opel may be sold outside of Europe in the future. As well, PSA is weighing whether its French brands â€” CitroÃ«n, Peugeot, and especially DSÂ â€” could appear in the U.S.
Another hitch in the negotiations involves the GM division’s threadbare pension fund. Bloomberg reports that the retirement plan is underfunded to the tune of $9 billion. According to sources close to the negotiations, PSA would love for GM to shoulder a sizable part of that financial burden. GM, which hopes to rid itself of an unprofitable division through this sale, doesn’t seem interested in picking up that tab.
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February 25, 2017 at 03:10AM