I will try my best to provide detailed info on various cars and what is like to live with them, I have already produced a few for Jaguar-car-forums, I will do my best to be unbiased, but it will be hard for some cars. I will re-produce press releases and copy from other motoring news.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Jaguar Land Rover announces the retailers that have won the internal Excellence awards.

Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC is proud to announce the 32 U.S. retailer winners of the 2016/17 Pride of Jaguar and Land Rover Pinnacle Retailer Excellence awards.
The Pride of Jaguar and Land Rover Pinnacle awards are given annually to retailers who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence and the Jaguar and Land Rover brands. Last year, sixteen retailers were selected from each brand based upon their top performance in core business categories including customer advocacy, sales and business excellence.
In 2016, Jaguar Land Rover U.S. sales reached a new all-time record with U.S. sales up 24 percent for the two brands combined. For the Land Rover brand, U.S. sales reached an all-time high with an increase of 5 percent from 2015 and record sales of the Range Rover Sport. The Jaguar brand more than doubled its volume with sales up 116 percent from 2015, driven by breakout performances of three new models: the F-PACE, XE and XF. The Jaguar F-PACE performance SUV became the brand’s top seller in its first year.
“We are delighted to honor our leading retailers for their outstanding customer service and sales satisfaction which has helped Jaguar and Land Rover set sales records in the United States," said Joe Eberhardt, President & CEO, Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC. “We take immense pride in providing our customers with not only distinctive high quality vehicles, but a truly exceptional and personalized experience.”
The recipients of the 2016/17 Pride of Jaguar and Land Rover Pinnacle Retailer Excellence awards are:
Pride of Jaguar Award:
Alpine Jaguar (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Jaguar Plano (Plano, Texas)
Jaguar Fort Myers (Fort Myers, Fla.)
Jaguar Fox Valley (Appleton, Wis.)
Imperial Motors Jaguar of Lake Bluff (Lake Bluff, Ill.)
Harper Jaguar (Knoxville, Tenn.)
Jaguar Gulf Coast (Mobile, Ala.)
Haron Jaguar (Fresno, Calif.)
Crown Jaguar (Saint Petersburg, Fla.)
Jaguar Palm Beach (West Palm Beach, Fla.)
Jaguar Allentown (Allentown, Pa.)
Jaguar Downtown Salt Lake (Salt Lake City)
West-Herr Jaguar (Getzville, N.Y.)
Bobby Rahal Jaguar (Wexford, Pa.)
Crest Jaguar of Woodbridge (Woodbridge, Conn.)
Jaguar San Juan Texas (San Juan, Texas) 

Land Rover Pinnacle Award: 
Land Rover Warwick (Warwick, R.I.)
Land Rover Cape Fear (Wilmington, N.C.)
Land Rover Main Line (Wayne, Pa.)
Land Rover Tampa (Tampa, Fla.)
Land Rover Louisville (Louisville, Ky.)
Land Rover San Juan Texas (San Juan, Texas)
Land Rover Roaring Fork (Glenwood Springs, Colo.)
Land Rover Guilford (Guilford, Conn.)
Land Rover North Hills (Wexford, Pa.)
Land Rover Allentown (Allentown, Pa.)
Land Rover Fort Myers (Fort Myers, Fla.)
Land Rover Norwood (Norwood, Mass.)
Land Rover Huntsville (Huntsville, Ala.)
Land Rover Fort Lauderdale (Pompano Beach, Fla.)
Land Rover Denver (Littleton, Colo.)
Land Rover Austin (Austin, Texas)

Jaguar and Land Rover have a combined network of 332 retailers across the U.S.

GENEVA - Rolls ROyce will showcase why it is the best brand in the world at this years show.

At this year’s Geneva Motor Show, Rolls-Royce will show why it is considered to be the world’s leading luxury house by showcasing the full breadth of its Bespoke capabilities. 
The facets of Bespoke tailoring, Bespoke engineering and Bespoke jewellery will demonstrate to every connoisseur who commissions a Rolls-Royce that they can count on having their desire for a truly personal motor car, that reflects who they are, fulfilled in the most fitting manner to them. In short, they can be assured that Bespoke is Rolls-Royce.  
‘Dawn - Inspired by Fashion’ will, with its Spring/Summer 2017 collection of three colour schemes, show how Bespoke means complementing the fine couture our patrons wear from day to day. 
Wraith Black Badge, a motor car Bespoke-engineered to suit its younger, edgier customers will demonstrate that at Rolls-Royce, Bespoke is anything but skin deep.
And one patron has allowed Rolls-Royce to show the Geneva crowds that only they can “create the unimaginable” by showing the Elegance, the ultimate expression of luxury with the luxury world’s first Diamond paint finish.
Such cars are considered works of art by their collectors and owners, and in homage to this status, Belgian artist, Charles Kaisan, has created a Bespoke sculpture for the Rolls-Royce Art Programme that will adorn the Rolls-Royce stand for the duration of the Geneva Salon.
This year, Rolls-Royce brings Elegance to the Geneva International Motor Show, a car inspired by something that cannot be bought, but is innate…style. 
The lifestyle of the Rolls-Royce customer is like no other. They are unapologetic in their lifestyle choices and are proud to showcase this to the world. In the words of Coco Chanel, “Elegance is not the prerogative of those who have just escaped from adolescence, but of those who have already taken possession of their future.”
One such connoisseur of luxury has chosen to share their personal vision of elegance with those who attend the Geneva Motor Show this year; the Rolls-Royce Ghost Elegance, the first luxury motor car to be finished in a paint created from diamonds.
Only Rolls-Royce, with the skilled craftspeople who reside in its paintshop, could have created a paint made from 1,000 crushed diamonds. Named ‘Diamond Stardust’, this is the most luxurious and lustrous exterior ever seen on a motor car, and the most expensive paint to grace the body of a Rolls-Royce.
Commissioned for an individual collector, this unique motor car takes the term Bespoke to the next level.
This exclusive paint was created by the craftspeople at the Home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood by subjecting 1,000 ethically-sourced diamonds to a special process.
This process saw the diamonds go through extensive testing to ensure their radiance when used in a paint. Goodwood’s Technical Laboratory Leader, Paolo Travaglia, and his team of paint specialists, Rawdon Evernden and Joseph Piotrowski, spent two months of concentrated testing to achieve the perfect result. Examining the dimensions of the precious stones with the use of a high-powered microscope, the team carefully analysed their transmission and reflection of light. The density and strength of the diamonds created a challenge for the team to produce an easy marriage with the clear paint and its ability to spread gracefully over a surface, leaving the diamonds undetectable to the touch.
This process resulted in the creation of a very fine diamond powder which was then mixed into the paint. Additionally, a new and unique paint process was developed, including the application of an extra final layer of lacquer to protect the diamond particles during the hand-polishing process. This process added an extra two days of paint application by hand and a further day of finishing.
Applied to the top section of the car, the paint finish glistens like no other, making this a motor car to be recognised and appreciated. Just like its owner, the car exudes unapologetic luxury and grandeur.
The final elegant exterior touches to this one off Rolls-Royce Ghost have been applied by master coachline painter, Mark Court, with a squirrel-hair paint brush. The flanks of the motor car are accented with Mugello Red and Black twin coachlines. To enhance the exterior further, the centre of the 21 inch wheels are hand-painted with a Mugello Red pinstripe. Last but not least at the prow of the car, showcased in all her glory, an uplit Spirit of Ecstasy guides this unique Rolls-Royce, and its owner, into the future.
The interior of this unique Rolls-Royce Ghost also communicates the elegant tastes of its owner. Chauffeur and passenger areas are clearly demarcated as in the early days of luxury motoring. The chauffeur’s ‘cockpit’ features black leather seats with accents of Mugello Red stitching on the doors, and piping on the seats. The colour black is continued in the lustrous carpet and lambswool footmats. The detailed fascia of smooth open pore Tudor Oak veneer is also complemented with a Mugello Red single stitch along the top of the dashboard, and finished with a Bespoke clock.
Adorning the rear sanctuary, the lounge seat is contoured with Selby Grey soft leather and also accompanied with Mugello Red stitching and piping. The inner pockets of the rear doors are lined with a favourite material of the owner; a Grey, Black and Red Tartan. 
Haute Couture meets Rolls-Royce 
“Style is very personal. It has nothing to do with fashion. Fashion is over quickly. Style is forever.”

Ralph Lauren

For the first time at a public motor show, The House of Rolls-Royce presents its full Spring/Summer 2017 Couture collection that is ‘Dawn - Inspired by Fashion’. 
The world of Fashion and Rolls-Royce have created a shared value of providing their clients with the ability to have the finest luxury goods, tailored to their tastes and lifestyles. It is Rolls-Royce clients who are seen in the front rows of the best Couture shows, a part of the world’s fashion elite. As today’s taste makers, it is their take on design and style which transforms the direction fashion moves in.
Design Director, Giles Taylor, and his team of talented designers at the Home of Rolls-Royce in West Sussex, who are responsible for the most intricate embroideries and textiles offered by the brand, carefully selected Andalusian White, a pure colour from the eclectic palette of the Rolls-Royce paints, to be the canvas for the motor car accented in three vibrant colours; Mugello Red, Cobalto Blue and Mandarin. The 2017 Geneva Motor Show is the first time all three choices have been seen together.
Like the clients who will be drawn to this collection, the car represents simplified, classic style. As featured on numerous catwalks throughout London Fashion week, colour blocking, said to have originated from the artwork of Dutch painter, Piet Mondrian, is a bold trend that sees opposite colours paired together to make interesting and complementary combinations. This current fashion trend features as the main garment on the car, a brightly-coloured canvas roof that unfolds in a ‘Silent Ballet’.
The Arctic White leather of the seats, truly a bold and distinctive colour, displays seamless handcraftsmanship through the piping, stitching and embroided RR monograms on all four headrests. The dashboard is lacquered with a clean Piano White wood finish, whilst the interiors of the coach doors are accented with that classic fashion staple, Black. Setting off this monochromatic treatment, the inside of the door pockets are lined with fine-to-the-touch patterned tailored silk, in one of the three vivid colours, a colour that also flows onto the hand-stitched two-tone steering wheel, which sits in the owner’s hand as comfortably as would any fine holdall or handbag.
Wraith Black Badge
“Black Badge is an attitude to life, an aspect of the Rolls-Royce brand that appeals to those people who are elusive and defiant, the risk takers and disruptors who break the rules and laugh in the face of convention. They are driven by a restless spirit. They play hard and they change theworld.

Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars 

Bespoke is not simply a cosmetic exercise for Rolls-Royce, as demonstrated by the world’s leading luxury brand at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show when it launched Black Badge, the alter-ego of the marque. In addition to creating a Rolls-Royce that appealed visually to the aesthetic of a younger, edgier customer, the marque understood that those customers also demand something more – bespoke engineering that delivers on what this Rolls-Royce’s looks promise.
Sir Malcolm Campbell, Howard Hughes, Keith Moon, Yves Saint Laurent, Muhammad Ali and our own Charles Rolls to name a few, young gentlemen in a hurry, driven by their restless spirits to change the world in their own way. Untrammelled by social convention, these disruptors lived life on the edge, believing the ultimate power to be self-empowerment, pushing every boundary to realise their personal vision. Glamorous and daring, they lived fast, worked hard and played hard.
Today’s generation of young, self-empowered, self-confident rule-breakers are just as uncompromising and unapologetic in their choice of living and lifestyle as their predecessors. They follow the road less travelled, live the unconventional life, darkly obsessed by their own pursuits and accomplishments from which they derive a pure adrenaline rush.
Over recent years, many such individuals have gravitated towards the revitalised Rolls-Royce Motor Cars as the brand most appropriate to encapsulate their truly individual lifestyles, much as their celebrated predecessors did in days past.
Always pushing their own boundaries, they have asked Rolls-Royce to do the same. Excited by the infinite possibilities that its Bespoke approach offers, they have asked the marque “to produce a Rolls-Royce like no other, a Rolls-Royce that not only appeals to, and projects, our sensibilities, but is fundamentally different – like us.”
And, always ready to deliver a truly Bespoke answer to meet the customer’s desire, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has once again demonstrated its true luxury credentials as the world’s leading super-luxury brand. Rolls-Royce has transformed the very icons of its brand to access a darker side of its character more suited to this breed of successful people.
The result is Black Badge.
Already the most powerful Rolls-Royce in the world at 623hp (465kw), Wraith has always been the most driver-focused car in Rolls-Royce’s model range. However, understanding how driven this new breed of customer is and their wish to push the boundaries of life, Rolls-Royce’s engineering team worked painstakingly to give this most phenomenal fastback coupé a uniquely discernible extra edge.
By combining an extra wave of torque (+70Nm) with the already existing high power output, a completely redesigned air-suspension set up, new drive shafts and uprated 8-speed transmission, Rolls-Royce has produced an even more driver-focused, agile Wraith, while at the same time preserving the intrinsic elements of the effortless Rolls-Royce Magic Carpet Ride.
This Bespoke engineering, combined with the Black Badge aesthetic of the inverted RR-badge, Black Spirit of Ecstasy, blackened brightwork, and more masculine colour-blocking in the interior have proved a transformative moment for Rolls-Royce, opening it up to a new alternative clientele who expect something different from the brand. 
Charles Kaisin 
“Rolls-Royce, for me, signifies ultimate luxury. To be given the opportunity to partner with such a marque is a great privilege. Rolls-Royce has provided me with an enriching environment which has in turn allowed me the freedom to explore and push the boundaries of my own work.”

Charles Kaisin

In collaboration with the Rolls-Royce Art Programme, Belgian-born Artist Charles Kaisin has created a magnificent art installation for the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. 
The piece,3.1m in height, 2m in width and 2.1m in depth, is truly a magical piece which floats gently in the air. Created from individual hand-made origami pieces, it replicates Rolls-Royce’s captivating muse, a figure which graces the bonnet of every Rolls-Royce, the beloved Spirit of Ecstasy. 
To encapsulate the full silhouette of the Spirit of Ecstasy, each piece of 25cm by 25cm mirrored square, is hung precisely, to avoid compromising the muse’s true form.
In total, the art installation consists of 3,000 identical hand-crafted origami pieces. From multiple angles, the unique design demonstrates the level of craftsmanship, inventiveness, vision and attention to detail that Kaisin, Design teacher at Saint-Luc, Architecture School in Brussels, excels in. Just like the graceful figure that proudly guides each Rolls-Royce, this breath-taking framework, reflects light from its mystical figure allowing shadow and light to collaborate. 
Kaisin has showcased the attitude of freedom and the pursuit for individuality, an attitude that is reflected in many customers who truly embrace their liberty to create Bespoke Rolls-Royces. 
The installation takes a team of three people, three days to complete. Like a Rolls-Royce, this is an unprecedented piece of hand-crafted excellence.
To view this truly Bespoke collection of motor cars and this art work, Rolls-Royce invites members of the press to a Champagne reception at 16.30 on Tuesday 7th March 2017 on the Rolls-Royce stand (6041, Hall 6) where Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, will give a short speech confirming that Bespoke is indeed Rolls-Royce.

The Third generation Fiesta ST, comes with Ecoboost engines and a power boost.

  • Ford Performance delivers global public debut of Ford Fiesta ST – powered by an all-new 200 PS, three-cylinder, 1.5‑litre EcoBoost engine – at the Geneva Show
  • First three-cylinder Ford Performance model features Drive Modes adjusting engine, steering, stability controls and even exhaust sound for optimised driving fun in any scenario
  • Electronic Sound Enhancement and active exhaust valve amplify sporty sound of three-cylinder engine that also features cylinder deactivation for further reduced CO2*
  • Enhanced range of personalisation options and technology includes new styling packs, SYNC 3 connectivity with eight-inch touchscreen and B&O Play high-end audio
Ford Performance today reveals the next-generation Ford Fiesta ST at its 2017 Geneva Motor Show global debut.
Powered by an all-new three-cylinder, 1.5-litre EcoBoost engine, the next generation Fiesta ST will deliver 200PS, 290Nm of torque and anticipated 0-62mph acceleration in 6.7sec.
The third generation Fiesta ST will be the first Ford Performance model ever powered by a three-cylinder engine, and will be the first Fiesta ST to feature selectable Drive Modes – enabling engine, steering and stability controls to be configured to Normal, Sport and Track settings for an optimised fun-to-drive experience in conditions from motorways to track days.

Drive Modes will also adjust Fiesta ST’s Electronic Sound Enhancement (ESE) technology and active exhaust noise control valve to deliver an even more satisfying driving experience. 
The technologies amplify the naturally sporty sound of the new 1.5-litre EcoBoost engine that also features Ford’s industry-first cylinder deactivation system for a three-cylinder engine, for further reduced CO2 emissions of an anticipated 114g/km.*
Available from launch in early 2018 in both three-door and five-door bodystyles, the next generation Fiesta ST will be offered with a greater variety of interior trim and personalisation options than ever before, with bold and distinctive exterior styling that includes a unique race-car-inspired mesh grille and exclusive 18-inch alloy wheels.
“Our next generation Fiesta ST is true to the philosophy of delivering cutting-edge technology to enhance every facet of the responsive Ford Performance chassis and powertrain,” said Joe Bakaj, European Product Development vice president. 
“With selectable Drive Modes and an all-new EcoBoost engine delivering an unprecedented combination of performance and fuel efficiency, the new model will deliver the most versatile, fun, engaging and rewarding Fiesta ST driving experience yet.”
All-new 1.5-litre EcoBoost engine
Part of Ford’s EcoBoost range of petrol engines that also includes the multi-award-winning 1.0‑litre EcoBoost, the all-new 1.5-litre EcoBoost engine uses technology including turbocharging, high-pressure fuel injection and Twin-independent Variable Cam Timing to deliver optimised performance and fuel efficiency.
The engine’s three-cylinder architecture delivers naturally high torque at low rpm. Performance is further boosted by a new turbocharger that uses an optimised turbine design to build boost pressure faster and minimise lag for a more responsive and fun driving experience.
A new combination of port fuel injection and direct fuel injection technology helps deliver high power and responsiveness alongside reduced CO2 emissions,* with a particular increase in fuel efficiency under light engine loads.
Ford’s new cylinder deactivation technology – first announced for the 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine and a world first for a three-cylinder engine – will further improve fuel efficiency for Fiesta ST customers without affecting performance by automatically stopping fuel delivery and valve operation for one of the engine’s cylinders in conditions where full capacity is not needed, such as when coasting or cruising with light demand on the engine. The technology can disengage or re-engage one cylinder in 14 milliseconds – 20 times faster than the blink of an eye – to seamlessly deliver full performance on demand.
The all-aluminium engine also features an integrated exhaust manifold that improves efficiency by helping the engine reach optimal temperatures faster, and delivers torque more rapidly by minimising the distance exhaust gasses travel between cylinders and turbocharger. Gas particulate filter technology that reduces soot emissions will also feature.
New Drive Modes
Selectable Drive Modes add even more versatility for the next generation Fiesta ST, enabling drivers to optimise the driving experience to suit scenarios from school run to the race track:
  • In Normal mode, engine mapping, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), ESE, exhaust sound and electronic power assisted steering (EPAS) are configured to deliver natural responsiveness and a connected feel
  • In Sport mode, engine mapping and throttle pedal response are sharpened, and EPAS settings adjusted to deliver more feedback and finer control for fast road driving. The active noise control valve opens and ESE is adjusted to intensify the sporty exhaust note and engine noise within the cabin
  • In Track mode, all vehicle dynamics features are tuned for the fastest possible lap times, traction control is disabled and ESC interventions are set to wide-slip mode for hard circuit driving
The agile and responsive Ford Performance-tuned chassis will be supported by enhanced Torque Vectoring Control technology that improves road holding and reduces understeer by applying brake force to the inside front wheel when cornering. Three-mode ESC will enable drivers to choose between full system intervention; wide-slip mode with limited intervention and full system de-activation.
Greater personalisation
The next-generation Fiesta ST will offer more personalisation options than ever before. Customers will be able to choose from a range of trim elements for the gear lever, steering wheel, door pulls and decorative dashboard spear, and select from distinctive styling packs.
The ergonomic Fiesta ST interior will feature supportive Recaro seats and a flat-bottomed steering wheel. Exterior colour options will include new Performance Blue and the Fiesta ST will feature exclusive 18-inch alloy wheels.
“Our ST models are designed to make a Ford Performance driving experience accessible to customers regardless of lifestyle,” said Matthias Tonn, Fiesta ST chief programme engineer. “With three- and five-door bodystyles and distinctive styling options that complement the model’s performance characteristics available from day-one, the next generation Fiesta ST will deliver a broader appeal for an even wider range of car-buyers.”
Ford’s SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system will enable Fiesta ST drivers to control audio, navigation and connected smartphones using simple, conversational voice commands. Compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto™, SYNC 3 is supported by floating, tablet-inspired touchscreens up to 8-inches that can be operated using pinch and swipe gestures.
The next generation Fiesta ST also will be offered with a high quality B&O PLAY Sound System for a high-end audio experience – among features already announced for the next generation Fiesta.
Ford Performance
The Ford Performance global organisation serves as an innovation laboratory and test-bed to create unique performance vehicles, parts, accessories and experiences for customers.
This includes developing innovations and technologies in aerodynamics, light-weighting, electronics, powertrain performance and fuel efficiency that can be applied more broadly to Ford’s product portfolio.
“Next generation Fiesta ST customers will benefit from innovations developed by Ford Performance for the Ford GT supercar and Focus RS hot hatchback, including high power EcoBoost and Drive Mode technologies,” said Dave Pericak, Ford Performance global director. 
“Working as one unified Ford Performance team helps us better deliver our core fun-to-drive experience and democratise sophisticated performance-enhancing features for every customer.”

Well, we fear for the UK Jobs as it is confirmed that PSA WILL take over Vauxhall/Opel - Sad day, possibly !

  • Establishes PSA Group as #2 in Europe. This strong and balanced presence in its home markets will serve as the basis of profitable growth worldwide
  • Joint venture in auto financing with BNP Paribas to support development of Opel/Vauxhall brands
  • €2.2 Bn transaction advances GM’s transformation and unlocks shareholder value through disciplined capital allocation
General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM) and PSA Group (Paris:UG) today announced an agreement under which GM’s Opel/Vauxhall subsidiary and GM Financial’s European operations will join the PSA Group in a transaction valuing these activities at €1.3 Bn and €0.9 Bn, respectively.
With the addition of Opel/Vauxhall, which generated revenue of €17.7 Bn in 20161, PSA will become the second-largest automotive company in Europe, with a 17% market share2.
Creates sound European foundation for PSA to support its worldwide profitable growth
“We are proud to join forces with Opel/Vauxhall and are deeply committed to continuing to develop this great company and accelerating its turnaround,” said Carlos Tavares, chairman of the Managing Board of PSA. 
“We respect all that Opel/Vauxhall’s talented people have achieved as well as the company’s fine brands and strong heritage. We intend to manage PSA and Opel/Vauxhall capitalizing on their respective brand identities. 
Having already created together winning products for the European market, we know that Opel/Vauxhall is the right partner. We see this as a natural extension of our relationship and are eager to take it to the next level.”
“We are confident that the Opel/Vauxhall turnaround will significantly accelerate with our support, while respecting the commitments made by GM to the Opel/Vauxhall employees,” continued Mr. Tavares.
Advances GM’s Transformation and Unlocks Value
“We are very pleased that together, GM, our valued colleagues at Opel/Vauxhall and PSA have created a new opportunity to enhance the long-term performance of our respective companies by building on the success of our prior alliance”, said Mary T. Barra, GM chairman and chief executive officer.
“For GM, this represents another major step in the ongoing work that is driving our improved performance and accelerating our momentum. We are reshaping our company and delivering consistent, record results for our owners through disciplined capital allocation to our higher-return investments in our core automotive business and in new technologies that are enabling us to lead the future of personal mobility.
“We believe this new chapter puts Opel and Vauxhall in an even stronger position for the long term and we look forward to our participation in the future success and strong value-creation potential of PSA through our economic interest and continued collaboration on current and exciting new projects,” Ms. Barra concluded.
Strengthens Each Company for the Long Term
The transaction will allow substantial economies of scale and synergies in purchasing, manufacturing and R&D. Annual synergies of €1.7 Bn are expected by 2026 – of which a significant part is expected to be delivered by 2020, accelerating Opel/Vauxhall’s turnaround. Leveraging the successful partnership with GM, PSA expects Opel/Vauxhall to reach a recurring operating margin3 of 2% by 2020 and 6% by 2026, and to generate a positive operational free cash flow4 by 2020.
PSA, together with BNP Paribas, will also acquire all of GM Financial’s European operations through a newly formed 50%/50% joint venture that will retain GM Financial’s current European platform and team. This joint venture will be fully consolidated by BNP Paribas and accounted under the equity method by PSA.
The transaction is another step in GM’s ongoing work to transform the company, which has delivered three years of record performance and a strong 2017 outlook, and returned significant capital to shareholders. It will strengthen GM’s core business, support its continued deployment of resources to higher-return opportunities including in advanced technologies driving the future, and unlock significant value for shareholders.
By immediately improving EBIT-adjusted, EBIT-adjusted margins and adjusted automotive free cash flow and de-risking the balance sheet, the transaction will enable GM to lower the cash balance requirement under its capital allocation framework by $2 Bn, which it intends to use to accelerate share repurchases, subject to market conditions.
GM will also participate in the future success of the combined entity through its ownership of warrants to purchase shares of PSA. GM and PSA also expect to collaborate in the further deployment of electrification technologies and existing supply agreements for Holden and certain Buick models will continue, and PSA may potentially source long-term supply of fuel cell systems from the GM/Honda joint venture.
Additional Information
Terms of the Agreement
Opel/Vauxhall automotive operations will be acquired by PSA for €1.3 Bn. GM Financial’s European operations will be jointly acquired by PSA and BNP Paribas for 0.8 times their pro forma book value at the closing of the transaction, or approximately €0.9 Bn.
The transaction has a total value of €2.2 Bn, for Opel/Vauxhall automotive operations and 100% of GM Financial’s European operations.
The transaction value for PSA, including Opel/Vauxhall and 50% of GM Financial’s European operations, will be €1.8 Bn.
In connection with this transaction, GM or its affiliates will subscribe warrants for €0.65 Bn. These warrants have a nine-year maturity and are exercisable at any time in whole or in part commencing 5 years after the issue date, with a strike price of €1. Based on a reference price of €17.34 for the PSA share5 , the warrants correspond to 39.7 MM shares of PSA, or 4.2% of its fully diluted share capital6. GM will not have governance or voting rights with respect to PSA and has agreed to sell the PSA shares received upon exercise of the warrants within 35 days after exercise.
The transaction includes all of Opel/Vauxhall’s automotive operations, comprising Opel and Vauxhall brands, six assembly and five component-manufacturing facilities, one engineering center (Rüsselsheim) and approximately 40,000 employees. GM will retain the engineering center in Torino, Italy.
Opel/Vauxhall will also continue to benefit from intellectual property licenses from GM until its vehicles progressively convert to PSA platforms over the coming years.
In connection with the transaction, GM will take a primarily non-cash special charge of $4.0-4.5 Bn.
Ongoing Pension Fund Commitments
All of Opel/Vauxhall’s European and U.K. pension plans, funded and unfunded, with the exception of the German Actives Plan and selected smaller plans will remain with GM. The obligations with respect to the German Actives Plan and these smaller plans of Opel/Vauxhall will be transferred to PSA. GM will pay PSA €3.0 Bn for full settlement of transferred pension obligations.
Closing Conditions
The transaction is subject to various closing conditions, including regulatory approvals and reorganizations, and is expected to close before the end of 2017.
The issuance of the warrants is subject to the vote of shareholders at PSA’s General Meeting of May 10th, 2017. The three main shareholders of PSA (the French State, the Peugeot family and DongFeng) representing in aggregate 36.6% of the share capital and 51.5%7 of the voting rights of PSA have undertaken to vote in favor of the resolution related to the issuance of the warrants to GM. In the event the warrant issuance reserved to GM and its affiliates is not approved by PSA’s General Meeting, PSA will settle the €0.65 Bn in cash over five years.