PSA Group to ‘unleash’ Vauxhall potential

The PSA Group says it wants to unleash the potential of Vauxhall plants rather than shut them down.

The Group acquired Opel and Vauxhall from GM Motors at the start of the week in a deal which immediately raised doubts about the futures of factories in Luton and Ellesmere Port, which employs a combined workforce of 4,500.

However, Carlos Tavares, chief executive of Peugeot, which is part of the PSA Group, has told the BBC he is not considering shutting any Opel or Vauxhall plants. Instead, he believes Vauxhall can discover new markets outside of Europe.

He said, ‘For many, many, years Opel Vauxhall could not export cars outside of Europe; that was something that General Motors didn’t want them to do. PSA is going to unleash this potential, we are going to open the gates.’

He also said that Vauxhall would become more efficient by sharing the knowledge of other PSA plants around the world, and that would protect it from any fall-out to Brexit negotiations.

He said, ‘What is striking in Europe… is that everybody is asking for protection. The only honest answer for protection is performance – if you increase your level of performance, you become the best, if you become the best there is no risk.

‘We can become better by sharing the best practices, having the best benchmarks inside the company and if we are better, with the export opportunities we have, we can fully use our manufacturing footprint.’

He added, ‘We are not talking about shutting down plants. Why? Because if you look at the situation, look at the PSA Group today, our capacity utilisation rate is 98%.’