Opel to electrify all model lines by 2024, speeding PSA transition

Opel to electrify all model lines by 2024, speeding PSA transition

"This plan is paramount for the company, to protect our employees against headwinds and turn Opel-Vauxhall into a sustainable, profitable, electrified, and global company", Lohscheller said as he presented the plan.

The FAZ, which did not cite its sources, said the restructuring plan shows that PSA wants to drag Opel back into the black by cutting labour costs and limiting overlaps within the PSA group, while pushing a stronger focus on new and greener technologies.

Combining strengths will unleash annual synergies on Groupe PSA level of €1.1 billion by 2020 and €1.7 billion by 2026.

From 2024 onwards, all Opel and Vauxhall passenger vehicle models will be based on joint group "architectures", Opel boss Michael Lohscheller said. Most of those savings will come from a trimming of the supply chain, and a reduction in the number of platforms (the component sets used for each type of vehicle) used from nine to two.

The move would also help Opel comply with new EU-wide carbon emissions regulations, an area where the carmaker with the lightning logo is seen as lagging, according to the FAZ.

Having full access to Groupe PSA technologies, Opel/Vauxhall will become a European CO2 leader.

The plan also calls for a quick push to market with electric cars. All passenger model lines would be electrified by 2024, offering a pure battery electric propulsion or plug-in hybrid version alongside internal combustion engines. By the end of the decade there are four electrified models planned already, including a PHEV version of the Grandland X and a fully electric next generation Corsa.

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Fears of rumoured factory closures were quashed during the announcement in Germany, with PSA Group chairman Carlos Tavares saying there are no intentions to shut any of the existing Vauxhall and Opel facilities as part of the restructure, which includes the Astra plant in Ellesmere Port and van-building premises in Luton.

Vauxhall now employs around 4,500 people across the two UK-based facilities.

Industry expert Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, director of Germany's vehicle research centre, said the plan was headed "in the right direction" but left many questions unanswered.

'Opel [and Vauxhall] is facing a dramatic situation, ' Tavares said in Ruesselsheim on Thursday.

In terms of expansion, Opel plans to enter more than 20 new export markets by 2022, including the likes of Argentina and Taiwan.

"Are we talking about the Fiji islands or India and China?" he asked.

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