General Motors’ South Korean business unit will reportedly be impacted the most by the automaker sale of its European Opel-Vauxhall unit to French automaker PSA Groupe.
Two GM Korea plants will weather the brunt of the impact:
- GM Changwon factory, which produces the Opel Karl and Vauxhall Viva and exports the duo to Europe. It exported 57,458 units of the vehicle in 2016. The figures are believed to include exports of the Chevrolet-badged twin to the Karl/Viva – the Chevrolet Spark – to the Americas.
- GM Bupyeong factory, which produces the Opel Mokka (X) and Vauxhall Mokka (X). The plant exported 160,000 units in 2016, including fully and not fully assembled vehicles. The figures are believed to include exports of the Buick-badged twin to the Mokka twin – the Buick Encore – to North America.
But with the sale of Opel to PSA, the exports to Europe of the Karl/Viva and Mokka will come to an end once PSA integrates the the vehicles onto its own platforms and begins manufacturing the vehicle at its own plants. It is believed that the Karl/Viva will be replaced by a “PSA proper” vehicle in 2019 followed by the Mokka in 2021.
As a result, the already-unprofitable GM Korea is likely to see an even further reduction in its production base due to a continued decrease in demand for the vehicles it produces. Previously, the unit was directly hit by the withdrawal by Chevrolet from European market’s mainstream vehicle segments. At that time, GM Korea supplied the majority of the Chevrolet Europe vehicle lineup.
French automaker PSA Group, the maker of Peugeot, Citroen and DS Automobiles, recently completed the acquisition of Opel from GM for 2 billion euro ($2.15 billion USD or 2.43 trillion Korean won). The automaker is now working on specific plans to integrate Opel and U.K. sister brand Vauxhall into its organization, including products, services, manufacturing, and retail outlets.