March 2017

French group PSA is buying Opel and Vauxhall from GM

Some good news ahead of us; it seems big changes are taking place in the third month of 2017. It's official: French automaker PSA Group is buying Opel and Vauxhall (with all its related properties) from General Motors. The deal will see Opel and Vauxhall get out from under GM's ownership to stand under PSA's, alongside the Peugeot, Citroën, and DS brands. The move is expected to convert PSA into Europe's second-largest automaker, surely behind Volkswagen.

The acquisition - which may prove to be the industry's largest since the formation of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles - won't just encompass the Opel and Vauxhall brands, though. It will also include six assembly plants, five component manufacturing facilities, and an engineering center in Rüsselsheim, Germany. With it, PSA will absorb some 40,000 new employees. But GM will hold on to its engineering center in Turin, Italy.

Through the arrangement, Opel/Vauxhall will continue collaborating with General Motors - at least until the German and British brands gradually transition to PSA platforms "over the coming years." That may take a while, though, considering how young Opel's current lineup is: It just launched the new Corsa in 2014, the Astra in 2015, and is in the process of rolling out a new Insignia. Rumor has it that the deal is valued at approximately €2.2 billion - of which PSA's share (including Opel/Vauxhall and half of the financial operations) comes to €1.8 billion.

My question remains, how will GM challenge the European market without its European operations? Probably the combination of Chevrolet and Cadillac brands will step up to seal the void.

We covered the best of the best during the Chicago Auto Show. You can absolutely surf around our picks.

We flew all the way to Utah State to lay our hands on the fifth generation of the Land Rover Discovery. The All-New Discovery will challenge the big players in its segment.

In our Global Drives section, I drove the first ever SUV 4x4 by the famous Italian automaker, Alfa Romeo: the Stelvio. I started the day in St.Moritz, Switzerland and ended up in Livigno, Italy.
In our Editors' Choice section we tested both Cadillac XT5 and Mercedes GLC250 Coupe in Beirut.

Ershad spend New Year's Eve on board a Range Rover Evoque in a road trip from Dubai to Oman. Check that out!

We featured some nice reports in our March issue that will be interesting to you. The first one is, 'What are the most googled cars divided by country?' and the second topic, 'Is Porsche still a sports car brand after their SUV lineup'.

We will be covering the Geneva Motor Show online via our website and social media platforms, so you can follow us and hopefully by April we will have the full coverage in the magazine.

- Issam Eid, Editor-in-Chief

Cover Story: All-new 2017 Land Rover Discovery

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