So a couple of things to put it all in perspective
1. Europe is increasingly isolated in term of automotive market trends. Like JDM, the core European market tastes and demands are different than the rest of the world - premium A-cars and wagons do not sell anywhere besides the dozen or so western European countries.
2. GM has redundant engineering centers in Detroit, China, Korea, Brazil, and Australia to pick up the slack if Germany is not part of the picture.
3. Of the key models in the line up using global platform, GM already sells more Buicks than Opel: Encore > Mokka, Verano > Astra, Regal > Insignia
4. Opel is already working very closely with PSA on new models that are being counted to deliver better profit margins, namely the CUVs: Crossland X = rebadged Peugeot 2008, Grandland X = rebadged Peugeot 3008
What does all mean? GM can afford to cut loose Opel and it probably won't have a big impact on any economy of scale issue. Europe is a no growth zone for GM so investing in the market, which requires unique regional specific models is less attractive than investing in growing markets that have common needs/that are trending the same direction. GM's play is really interesting here because it signals a fundamental shift in thinking... it is EXACTLY like Ford's exit from Japan but obviously at a much bigger scale.
PSA's play is different. They want to build up Europe into a fortress because they are a regional car company. They are not using this as a way to enter US market. Since Europe is on a flat or downward trajectory, you want to be no worse than #3 there. Merging PSA and Opel will accomplish this goal. It's the same idea as Nissan grabbing Mitsubishi and Toyota putting Mazda and Subaru on the short leash to fortify JDM.
Right now, I don't think the deal will go thru because there is too much to unwind. For example, PSA will not want to continue Opel's commercial vehicle partnership with Renault. And it's an open question whether PSA has the ability to pull off the deal. The French Govt is onboard but Dongfeng holds the purse string. What does Dongfeng get out of this deal? Nothing right now. In fact, allowing PSA to be more powerful/entrenched in Europe is a risky bet for Dongfeng. It means it is less likely to share advanced tech and platforms in China.
If the deal does go thru, I see GM re-introducing Chevy to Europe in the short term. I don't see GM buying FCA. Anyone smart enough can see that time is FCA's biggest enemy. If you want any FCA assets, you don't want to make a bad deal with Sergio. You wait until the banks are in charge and they will swiftly make sensible deals. Buick will be just fine... the most profitable models are not shared with Opel anyway, and the shared models all have existing Chevy twins.
Edited by bzcat, 14 February 2017 - 10:32 PM.