EU antitrust authorities have no objection to PSA's purchase of General Motors-owned Vauxhall and Opel; approval of its European financial arm is still under review

The European Commission has given the greenlight for the PSA Group, maker of CitroënDS and Peugeot cars, to buy the Opel and Vauxhall brands.

The European Union's antitrust authority said it had “unconditionally approved” PSA’s plans to buy the European arm of General Motors (GM), concluding that “the transaction would raise no competition concerns”.

PSA purchase of Opel and Vauxhall completed

The £1.9 billion deal, which was revealed in early March this year, makes PSA the second largest car maker in Europe after Volkswagen, with a 17% market share. It will also “serve as the basis of profitable growth worldwide,” said PSA.

The European Commission’s statement stated: "The Commission investigation showed that the merged entity will still face strong competition from manufacturers such as Renault, Volkswagen, Daimler, Ford, Fiat and various Asian competitors."

However, the proposed acquisition of GM’s European financial operations by PSA and the BNP Paribas banking group is still under review by the Commission, with a decision due later this year.

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Patrice Lucas, PSA's boss of strategy, said: “Today, we have taken a substantial step. The teams are now focused on the achievement of all other conditions necessary for the closing, planned for later this year”.

Last month, PSA announced its finance boss Michael Lohscheller will become the new chief executive of Opel and Vauxhall, replacing Karl-Thomas Neumann, who ran the company for four years.

Globally, PSA sold 3.5 million cars last year, while Opel/Vauxhall sold 1 million. Taking on the GM brands means PSA's volume will be 4.5 million at the current sales rate.

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Our Verdict

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Peugeot’s awkward high-rise hatchback turns stylish compact SUV, but faces stiff competition from Volvo's XC40, Mazda CX-5 and Honda CR-V

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week