PSA Groupe is in a bit of a predicament. After discovering Opel’s emission woes, the French automaker seeks a refund over the brand’s sale price from General Motors, possibly up to $951 million.
Reuters originally broke the news last Wednesday, but there was another interesting piece of information buried in the report: the Opel Ampera-e was a real money loser for GM. Two sources told Reuters that GM lost about $12,000 for every Ampera-e sold. It all makes sense now since PSA has recently halted orders for the electric car in Europe and increased the car’s sale price.
The complications stem from GM’s lackluster emission strategy in Europe for Opel. Before the brand’s sale, Opel was on track to miss new European Union emission standards by a long shot; the Ampera-e was meant to offset the potential fines imposed for missing the EU targets.
But, as a source said, the plan was not economically viable.
“Their technical solution was economically unviable and would have led to enormous losses,” said one source. “So the first thing you do is drop that (product) line, but then the fleet emissions explode.”
It leaves PSA to foot the bill if the automaker can’t outfit Opel and Vauxhall cars with new powertrains quick enough. And the bill could be over $1 billion.