A top General Motors executive declared the U.S. automaker believes the crucial partnership in France would survive even if the partner ties up with China’s Dongfeng Motor Group.
The founding family of PSA Peugeot Citroen had offered to give up control of the automaker as it tried to revive plans for a closer tie-up with GM backed by a fresh capital injection. The American automaker is Peugeot’s second-largest shareholder behind the Peugeot family but so far refused to invest more money in Peugeot.
“We’re not PSA’s only partner … so I don’t think it would complicate our situation any more than it would complicate some of their other partners,” GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky said in an interview in New York, referring to a possible partnership between Peugeot and Dongfeng.
“We bought our 7 percent in the first place not because we wanted significant influence in PSA, but because we wanted to help them with their capital raise at the time,” he said. “We haven’t had discussions. We don’t know what they’re going to do, and when they decide what they’re going to do, they’ll pick up the phone and call us.”
He acknowledged that the impact of such a tie-up on GM’s alliance with Peugeot would depend on how much influence Dongfeng had. He said another factor would be whether any vehicles in such a partnership would be sold in China, where GM’s joint venture partner is SAIC Motor Corp.
Girsky said fixing GM’s European operations is the priority and the alliance with Peugeot is meant to help. GM and PSA are still working together to build two minivan-like vehicles on the same vehicle platforms, starting in 2016, but other unidentified products largely for the European markets are also being discussed, he said.