Akerson bullish on PSA alliance, Opel's new models

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Thread: Akerson bullish on PSA alliance, Opel's new models

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    Akerson bullish on PSA alliance, Opel's new models

    Akerson bullish on PSA alliance, Opel's new models
    Automotive News
    December 13, 2012
    by Peter Brown and James B. Treece and Mike Colias

    General Motors CEO Dan Akerson is steadily putting his stamp on the automaker. He is forging a cost-saving alliance with PSA/Peugeot-Citroen and is bullish about Opel's entry into new segments with the debuts of the Adam minicar and Mokka subcompact SUV. Akerson met recently at GM headquarters in Detroit with Automotive News Editorial Director Peter Brown, Industry Editor James B. Treece and Staff Reporter Mike Colias to talk about the company's future.

    How would you characterize the PSA/Peugeot-Citroen partnership so far?

    We've been in constructive dialogue for a long time. It's complicated because the uncertainty surrounding the European market specifically makes any move in this area one that has to be carefully considered.

    We're in new product segments that we were not in [before with] the Adam and the Mokka, which has over 50,000 orders. These aren't just wish list [orders]; these are good orders. The Adam has gotten rave reviews versus the Mini and the Fiat 500. We need to solidify our market position. We need to improve on our material costs.

    Has your relationship with PSA saved you any money so far on material costs?

    No. [But] the logistics deal we did with Gefco for Europe should kick in during the first quarter, but we're looking at a much broader alliance than that.

    What do you need to do to be a legitimate competitor against BMW and Mercedes-Benz?

    The segment of the luxury brand we need to be successful in is the small luxury segment, and that's the [Cadillac] ATS.

    How about the BMW 7-series fighter that people have long talked about? What factors do you consider in whether to do a car like that?

    The progress we make in the marketplace and re-establishing the brand not only in North America but also China is one factor. The success that we have in brand building around the world is another.

    Full article at link.

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    Re: Akerson bullish on PSA alliance, Opel's new models

    Europe has to be the most difficult market in the world to succeed in . Gas prices here have been through the roof for years , they have very good high speed rail / or subways , buses , trams etc plus many ride bikes or motorcycles , so driving a big car to work is for the wealthy . also driving long distances for holidays is not practised as in north america , cities for the most part are more condensed countries are smaller, not the urban aprawl and longer commute distances involved . This isn't selling vehicles in China , Thailand , Brazil , europeans have been driving vehicles as long as north americans . GM's going abed with Opel may be fruitful; eventually, but has it the focus to be dominant in the chosen market segments ? Looking at their hit and miss record here in N. America and their poor understanding of market trends /sales of competitor products now and those anticipated , perhaps its best they keep the investment to focus on say two most promising OPEL vehicles and if the market responds favorably over a three year period then public demand will factor in on any expansion . I have read Ackerson's previous comment where he talked much about Cadillac cars and plans . This to me is worrying , in our area , in one of the richest provinces and the top wage earning region , with many oil field servicing companies , highly productive farming and ranching operations , from my experience in investment real estate, many drive top of the line fancy pickups Ford 150 and 250s' are very popular. Lawyers and accountant professionals and middle to higher income families appear to drive SUVs by Lexus , BMW , Mercedes , Encores , Yukons , Acura , Jeep Grand Cherokee etc . These SUV's are worth as much as fancy Caddies but they don't want to appear ostentatious , they dress down . . These SUV types plus lower priced SUVs and crossovers sub compact , compact cars , and pickups represent the biggest growth areas in North America GM's share in these segments is spotty and brand awareness is slipping every year as other companies keep increasing their market share in those areas . Akerson represents to me an image of past glories and stature as a leader , but would he be invited to be CEO of Ford , Honda , Toyota , well now what do you think ??

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    Re: Akerson bullish on PSA alliance, Opel's new models

    So it sounds to me like they're going to study the XTS and if they feel it will be a long lasting product they'll cancel the RWD flagship. Is that correct? O.o

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    Re: Akerson bullish on PSA alliance, Opel's new models

    Somebody needs to be optimistic, because the vast majority aren't. But the facts remain, GM must stay and compete in Europe, VW can't be given the throne unopposed. An alliance means strength in numbers but entails another layer of red tape. In reality someone needs to go away either by being swallowed up, merged or liquidation from the following list of candidates (Ford, GM-Opel, Renault, PSA, Fiat and perhaps Toyota/Nissan/Honda). Fiat and the French are the weakest and have the most overhead. Ford has been the most proactive. European overcapcity stands at 35% and this number gets worse as companies like hyunkia open up low cost plants in Eastern Europe or import from free trade partners such as Mexico.

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    Re: Akerson bullish on PSA alliance, Opel's new models

    Quote Originally Posted by EcoBustier69 View Post
    . In reality someone needs to go away either by being swallowed up, merged or liquidation from the following list of candidates (Ford, GM-Opel, Renault, PSA, Fiat and perhaps Toyota/Nissan/Honda). Fiat and the French are the weakest and have the most overhead. Ford has been the most proactive. European overcapcity stands at 35% and this number gets worse as companies like hyunkia open up low cost plants in Eastern Europe or import from free trade partners such as Mexico.
    PSA is the ONLY Euro ONLY brand of the LOT ford, GM, and the JAP jobs will all USE foreign profits to keep going to compete with VW where as PSA does not have that "war chest" to dive into you can hope that the conditions/ overcapacity slow new players from China/India from entering the market and making things worse

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    Re: Akerson bullish on PSA alliance, Opel's new models

    Of course he is. He has been while Opel has continued to lose money. It would be awful to offend the Germans.

    #FireAnarchyDan
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    Re: Akerson bullish on PSA alliance, Opel's new models

    VW can't be given the throne unopposed ? How do people suppose they got to be dominant . They were in the car business before the war , and have developed fuel efficent GOLF and Jetta size cars and fuel efficient sized gas and diesel engines that have over 20 years of refinement and strong dealership growth in Europe . This refinement of the Golfs and Jettas in their critical market segement has earned their reputation and sales dominance .The fuel efficient diesel in particular is a great engine and many north americans enjoy driving these vehicles .Dealership strength in N. America is a weaker point .These smaller vehicles were ready for the increasing insanely high fuel costs years ago and their competition in this area weak . The French tended toward the odd-ball designs ( I can't comment on their dealership growth/strength but it must have been and probably is poor as their market share flounders to this day ). The english who I think really invented the small car , by Prefect , Vauxhall , Morris etc in the the fifties earned a lot of sales , all were imported to north america to some degree or other and most had died out , mercifully by the seventies . I drove or was driven by friends in the late fifties and worked on them as a mechanic apprentice in the early sixties . They were in my opinion the worst engineered vehicles to ever see the light of day .Dealerships were few and we dreaded having them in the shop as ; braking , electrical and carburation were rudimentary at best . A french collaboration doesn't make sense , their sales are really off , and an Opel one may be the one to explore , but they are losing millions , the new ADAM sub compact is just on the market and has anyone made an intelligent comment about their dealership strength/presence , other than Germany . Also , what long running production vehicles here are in demand , I hear only talk of brand new models/orders .The japanese and Korea who focus strongly on their long running reliable sub compact and compact fuel sippers that have the best chance to expand presence in Europe , as will Ford who has a real strong focus on their engineering and sales support of their OWN highly successful designs , Fiesta and Focus models....the sporty/ turbo models really strike a strong response from the younger buyers . So GM will collaborate with Opel and the French weinnies , wonderful . Gm can't leave VW unopposed ....more like Don Quiote chasing the the windmills . Ackerson....carry on , by God lets not leave VW unopposed ....kind of reminds me of the old english " Carry on Nurse comedy movies ....tally ho !!

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    Re: Akerson bullish on PSA alliance, Opel's new models

    PSA is the ONLY Euro ONLY brand of the LOT
    Not quite. Peugeot and Citroen (in particular) are established brands in China with significant market share, and have been among the longest-existing brands there, even predating Buick's re-entry in 1997. Peugeot is also an important player in South America and has unique position in many African and Middle Eastern markets. The only markets PSA are notably absent from are the US and Canada.

    True, they might have built a stronger presence and business base outside of Europe, and this, combined with lack of truly premium brand/positioning and being late to the game in most important "growth"/profitable segments have hurt them dearly. OTOH, they have always managed to keep afloat and make up for their lack of size by forming clever strategic alliances with pretty much everybody with regard to only what was needed, rather than hook up with one other automaker for both better and worse. Whether this strategy continues to work in the wake of the current reshuffle remains to be seen.

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    Re: Akerson bullish on PSA alliance, Opel's new models

    Somebody needs to be optimistic, because the vast majority aren't. But the facts remain, GM must stay and compete in Europe, VW can't be given the throne unopposed.


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