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It's official: 2018 Holden Commodore is now in French hands

By Barry Park, 02 Aug 2017 Industry

It's official 2018 Holden Commodore is now in French hands_wide

Groupe PSA's takeover of GM's European manufacturing and finance divisions is now complete, officially handing the next-gen Holden Commodore a French passport

IT'S official; the Holden Commodore, until now raised on a diet of football, meat pies and kangaroos, won't be celebrating Octoberfest come the arrival of the next-generation NG version in 2018.

Instead, it will officially celebrate Bastille Day. Groupe PSA, the French owner of brands including Peugeot and Citroen, announced overnight it had finalised the takeover of GM's European division, Opel, that will supply our first-ever fully-imported, front-wheel-drive, shrunken-down Commodore.

"Groupe PSA today announces the closing of the acquisition of GM subsidiaries Opel and Vauxhall, a project that was signed on 6 March 2017," PSA said in a statement released late yesterday announcing that the €2.2 billion ($3.1 billion) deal was finally done.

"With Opel and Vauxhall, Groupe PSA becomes the second largest European car manufacturer, with a market share of 17 percent in the first half.

One big, happy family, minus Holden"Building on this transaction and now with five complementary, well-positioned car brands, Groupe PSA will strengthen its presence in the major European markets and this will serve as a foundation for profitable growth worldwide."

Part of that worldwide growth comes from the supply of the European-styled Opel Insignia, the vehicle that underpins the 2018 Holden Commodore and that also will include some bespoke bodywork, and plenty of tweaking to the suspension, to give it a distinctly Aussie flavour.

In time, though, Groupe PSA will convert Opel's products to sit on Groupe PSA platforms, potentially meaning that when the Opel-based Commodore comes up for renewal in about 2025, underneath it could sit on one of the group's two new electrified platforms.

Wheels has made several interview requests to Groupe PSA asking for the French carmaking giant to spell out how it intends to integrate the Commodore into its product portfolio. Only hints of the agreement between Groupe PSA and GM have been revealed  some of them in filings to the US Securities and Investments Commission  to say how the European empire will be carved up over time.

GM's former British brand, Vauxhall, and Opel now have 100 days to develop a plan on how it will help to deliver 1.7 billion in savings in the next three years. How Holden -- still a part of the GM empire -- fits into that plan is unclear.

Groupe PSA's announcement comes as Holden embarks on its most ambitious European-sourced model offensive in its 69-year history as a major strategy of its 2018 and beyond post-manufacturing future.

GM and Holden have previously stressed the importance of sourcing vehicles from Europe given the shift in Australian tastes towards luxury and European models.

Holden released a brief statement after the sale was first announced confirming the immediate supply of Opel-sourced cars – including the upcoming Commodore, the first one not produced in Australia – "are not affected at all”.