FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — France's PSA Group, maker of Peugeot and Citroen cars, says it's exploring a "potential acquisition" of Opel, the money-losing European business of General Motors Co.
PSA Group said in a statement Tuesday that it was exploring "numerous strategic initiatives" that would expand the existing cooperation between the two companies, and that an acquisition of Opel was one of them. PSA Group and GM are already involved in several joint projects in Europe.
GM has endured years of losses at its European business, which makes cars under the Opel and Vauxhall brands.
It had hoped to reach break-even by now, but last year posted a loss of $257 million for the year even as GM as a whole turned in a robust profit of $9.4 billion.
Opel has struggled to control costs due to stronger worker protections in Europe, and faces a highly competitive market for everyday transportation. Opel has made successful models such as the Mokka small SUV, but lacks larger versions of such high-margin vehicles.
GM CEO Mary Barra has underlined the company's commitment to Opel several times in recent years. But the unexpected loss last year has increased pressure on the company to find a solution in Europe.
GM and PSA Group formed an alliance in 2012 but in 2013 GM announced it was selling its stake. In 2009, GM agreed on a sale of a majority stake in Opel to Canadian car parts firm Magna International and Russian lender Sberbank but called the deal off.