New car sales are expected to shrink in the coming years, forcing automakers to make uncomfortable cuts and concessions now to avoid making painful decisions later. On top of that, the industry is facing rapid changes as autonomous and electric vehicles continue to make headway. Automakers are partnering up to share costs during this transition, and PSA Group, the French automaker, is looking for such cooperation so it can expand its worldwide footprint during these turbulent times. A report from Bloomberg says the company is open to not only partnering with a larger automaker but is also open to merging, too. One possible, though unlikely, candidate on the list—GM.
Last month, PSA announced it’d return to the U.S. with its Peugeot brand. This would be the first time since 1991 Peugeot has been sold in the U.S. It left the market after an abysmal sales year. According to sources who spoke with Bloomberg and asked not be identified, PSA Group Chief Executive Officer Carlos Tavares has met with advisers about possible partnerships and mergers.
As of right now, a plethora of automakers could serve as potential partners, including GM. However, the likelihood of such a deal is slim. Less than two years ago, GM sold its European Opel-Vauxhall unit to PSA Group for €2.2 billion. The sale was crucial for PSA’s growth, which included plans to return to North America. GM sold the two brands as a way to shed low-profit brands and services, using the money to invest in emerging technologies such as electric and autonomous vehicles. GM parenting or merging with PSA would again saddle the automaker with a slew European car brands.
Exactly when Peugeot will return to North America is still up in the air, but the company has floated 2026 as the year it’ll return. At first, Opel was believed to be the brand PSA would use to return to the U.S., competing against the likes of Chevrolet. Now that PSA has announced it’ll return with Peugeot, with headquarters in Atlanta, the company could aim to take on the likes of Buick and Cadillac.