Recently we discussed PSA’s mooted plans for their new charge, Adam Opel AG. PSA announced their plans yesterday.
As GM Authority dryly note, GM somehow failed to make Opel turn a profit for 17 years: a revolving door management of uninterested Detroit executives, unconvincing product and possibly accounting manoeuvres conspired to keep Opel in the red for the entirety of the 21st century. How to fix that?
PSA’s plans will involve steady management, a new model every year, a reduction in the number of engines (to be all PSA) and platforms (to be all PSA), voluntary redundancies, electric power train development and global sales. Ruesselsheim will retain its design duties.
As DTW expected, there will be the steady elimination of GM-based cars, leaving the Insignia as the last GM-Opel engineered model, get them while you can. Product planners and engineers will be faced very seriously with the question of what it will be that distinguishes an Opel from a Citroen or Peugeot when they share so much. Underlying this is the core requirement to reduce the cost of each car by €700 or the cost of a coat of paint. One wonders why they didn’t just raise the cost of the cars by €700 instead and throw in a longer warranty and some extras.
Cost cutting is a two-edged sword. The last time Opel went on a cost-cutting spree it led to a slew of quality problems epitomised by the Astra F, a perennial DTW favourite. Further, Opel hasn’t been cost-cutting lately: the goal of the last CEO was to raise the standard of the cars, a long term game cut short by Carlos Tavares who imagines one can cost-cut a way to competitiveness.