French car giant PSA has announced it is taking over Vauxhall and the General Motors European operation.
A £1.9bn deal has been agreed by the owners of Citroen and Peugeot.
Once they add Vauxhall and Opel to their list, PSA will become the second largest carmaker in Europe behind Volkswagen.
The two firms first said they were in talks on February 14, before the sale was officially announced on Monday (March 6).
The deal breaks down to £1.1bn for Opel/Vauxhall and and £800m for GM’s Europeal Financial wing.
So what could they have planned?
PSA have undergone two years of cost-cutting since CEO Carlos Tavares was appointed in 2015.
In that time their operating margin has shot up and it made a profit of about £1.5bn last year.
Crucially this has not included any factory closures, with their most recent major job cuts made in 2012.
Meanwhile GM’s European arm recently posted a 16th consecutive year of losses.
PSA said in a statement the deal could save them about a further £1.5bn in savings through ‘synergies’ by 2026.
Mr Tavares said: “We are proud to join forces with Opel/Vauxhall and are deeply committed to continuing to develop this great company and accelerating its turnaround.
“We respect all that Opel/Vauxhall’s talented people have achieved as well as the company’s fine brands and strong heritage.
“We intend to manage PSA and Opel/Vauxhall capitalising on their respective brand identities.
“Having already created together winning products for the European market, we know that Opel/Vauxhall is the right partner.”
Many models under PSA, such as the Citroen C1 and the Peugeot 107, use identical chassis made in the same factories.
PSA has given a commitment about 4,500 jobs in Ellesmere Port, as well as the other UK Vauxhall plant in Luton, until 2021.
This is when the latest ‘production run’ of the Astra, which has been built in Cheshire since the 1980s, finishes.
GM chairman and chief executive Mary T Barra said she believed the deal would put Opel and Vauxhall 'in an even stronger position for the long term'.
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “Over the weekend, the chief executives of both General Motors and the PSA Group have spoken to me to outline their plans.
“Unite will ensure that these are communicated to our members at the earliest opportunity so that we can end this nerve-wracking period for these loyal workers, and move forward on how to safeguard our sites.
“So while initial discussions with the PSA Group have been relatively positive, our priority now is to ensure a long-term future for our plants and the tens of thousands of workers depending on them.
“We will also be urging the government to stay at the table, just as the French and German governments do, to provide full support for our auto workers through this deeply unsettling time.”
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