Pots and kettles, glass houses and stones – that's a little of what we appear to have going on in the European car market. New reports say that that three European automakers have registered their opposition to a loan deal that PSA/Peugeot-Citroën is working on with the French government. Peugeot's finance arm, Banque PSA Finance, is struggling with its debts and has been downgraded by Moody's to its lowest investment-grade classification, one step above junk. This makes it more expen
Let's face it, even when they go well, partnerships rarely go as planned. Almost eight months after General Motors spent $423 million to snag seven percent of Peugeot, we on the outside are still wondering what the plan is. When the tie-up was announced, the main benefits were listed as purchasing power and platform sharing, and only a month after that, a deeper collaboration was discussed that would involve development of a dual-clutch transmission and a small car for Latin America.
Police in Paris fired tear gas at demonstrators outside of the Paris Motor Show today. Around 1,000 protesters showed up in an attempt to break through police lines and gain access to the show in a demonstration against further austerity measures. The group included workers from a PSA Peugeot Citroën plant that's scheduled for closure, and some demonstrators threw eggs and flour at police. The group also reportedly included workers from other manufacturers that have announced job cuts.
The French government has said that PSA/Peugeot-Citroën must make large job cuts in order to stay financially afloat. A large restructuring would also need to take place as the carmaker deals with the current European economic climate and a production capacity excess.
The clouds that have been darkening the forecast for Peugeot just keep getting darker. The latest storm front involves the risk of being delisted from the CAC 40, the benchmark index composed of the 40 companies with the "most significant values" among the the companies with the top 100 market capitalizations listed on Euronext Paris (the French stock market). The blow wouldn't just hit Peugeot's prestige, but it's stock price, too – and that has already sunk so low in the five months sinc
Ford has won the International Engine of the Year Award for its 1.0-liter EcoBoost turbocharged three cylinder. The award was handed out at the Engine Expo in Stuttgart, Germany. This is Ford's first outright victory from the panel, which consists of journalists from around the globe.
A European group called Responsible Young Drivers wanted to showcase the dangers of texting while driving, and got ad agency Publicis to help them out. The result: a two-minute spot that put trainee drivers in Belgium with an instructor who said part of their driving test would be to avoid an obstacle while texting a random sentence that he'd dictate.
You know things are rough when you have to sell your corporate headquarters to raise some cash. But that's just what PSA Peugeot-Citroën did this week, unloading its Parisian office building for about $327 million, according to Automotive News.
The ink is only just dry on the contract detailing the collaboration between General Motors and PSA Peugeot Citroën, and already there is talk of going further. GM purchased a seven-percent stake in PSA to form an alliance that would work together on platforms, small and midsize cars, and MPVs and crossovers, the aim being to strengthen the positions of PSA and Opel. Plans include moving the Opel Corsa to a Peugeot platform, while the Citroën C5 and Peugeot 508 move to GM platform tech
General Motors has finally made a move to help its ailing European operations by tying its fortunes on the continent with those of PSA Peugeot Citroën. The two automakers have agreed to a new global alliance in which GM will buy a seven-percent stake in PSA, thereby making it the European automaker's second largest shareholder behind the Peugeot family itself. The shares won't give GM any governance rights over PSA, and the two companies will remain competitors in Europe.
Automotive News is reporting that stories in two other papers, France's La Tribune and England's The Financial Times, assert that General Motors and PSA Peugeot Citroën are "in advanced talks about an alliance." Neither maker would comment on the stories, but it has been well documented that both are looking to turn around their European operations. Peugeot's parent announced 6,000 job cuts late last year and the immediate cessation of Le Mans racing this year. Opel lost hundreds of million
Citroën and Peugeot have released the first volley of information and images on their refreshed C1 and 107 runabouts. The Citroen C1 will bow with a new face, complete with a shorter hood, redesigned foglamp housings and new LED daytime running lights. The vehicle's rear valance has also received a few design touches to differentiate it from the previous year model. Buyers can expect to find the same 68-horsepower three-cylinder gasoline engine bolted to a manual transmission under the hood
Abiding by traffic signals is perhaps the simplest rule of the road. Any preschooler can tell you what red light means, but that doesn't stop a staggering number of drivers from ignoring the lights altogether. ATS, a company responsible for manufacturing red light cameras, wants us to think a little harder about coming to a complete stop the next time we lose the right of way. The company says that more than 100,000 people are injured in collisions involving a driver who ignored a red light.
The Changan Automobile Group Co. is no stranger to working on hybrids, but it is going to look for help from PSA Peugeot-Citroën to develop more hybrids and all-electric vehicles. Changan is also working on EVs with LG Chem, so the signs are pointing to a strong commitment to plug-in powertrains in China.
Renault's Kangoo Van Z.E. may not be the most stylish EV on the market, but it is on its way to becoming one of the most popular. Renault has announced that the results of a competitive bidding process have led to the sale of 15,637 units of the electric van, with 10,000 of those orders coming from the French postal authority. Another 1,500 of the little haulers are slated for Électricité de France, the second largest French utility company.
The U.S. auto industry seems to be picking up nicely, but the same can't be said for Europe. Ford just announced that it lost $100 million a month in the market over the third quarter, and PSA Peugeot-Citroën SA didn't fare much better.
Citroën's next look into the future appears to involve a look into its past: according to Car Magazine, the French firm is planning a 3CV that will make a modern case for the beloved 2CV. It isn't expected until 2013, so only a few brains inside Citroën have any idea what it will look like, but the prognostications suggest "the spirit of the quirky Ami 6," lots of space and a comfortable ride.