GM has lost billions in recent years attempting to revive Opel. The PSA deal will stanch that flow of red ink. Despite GM’s efforts, Opel’s share of the European market sank to 5.6% by 2016, half that during its halcyon days when it often tied VW for market leadership.

GM has tried to extricate itself from Opel several times in recent years. A proposed sale to Magna International and a group of Russian investors in November 2009 as GM was struggling through bankruptcy failed when GM insiders opposed the deal. Magna and the Russians were to acquire 55% ownership of Opel, GM was to retain 35% and 10% was to go to employees.

After the PSA-Opel alliance fell apart in late 2013 after less than two years, PSA soon returned to profitability under CEO Carlos Tavares, who had been hired away from Renault-Nissan.

Since teaming with China’s Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. (SAIC) in 1998, GM has enjoyed a sales bonanza, selling more than 4.0 million vehicles there in 2016, mostly Buick and Wuling nameplates.

It has been a far different story in Japan. GM no longer has meaningful ties to a trio of automakers with which it once was aligned: Subaru, Isuzu and Suzuki. Times and priorities change, of course, but these separations have weakened GM’s ties in Asia as SAIC has come on strong.

GM bought a stake in Fuji Heavy (now Subaru) in 1999 and sold its interest in 2005 to Toyota. GM acquired a 34% share of Isuzu in 1972 and later raised that to 49%. Isuzu’s low-cab- Classes 4 and 5 commercial trucks were marketed under the Chevrolet badge and in 2018 will be supplied by Navistar. By 2006 Mitsubishi had become Isuzu’s largest shareholder.  From 1980 until 2009, Isuzu also supplied two medium-range commercial trucks, the Chevrolet Kodiak and GMC Topkick, since handed off to Navistar.

GM has had close ties to Suzuki, in which it first invested in 1981. In 1989 they formed CAMI (Canada Automotive Mfg. Inc.) in Ontario to build small SUVs, among them vehicles for the defunct Geo brand. Suzuki sold its share of CAMI to GM in 2009 and exited the U.S. market in 2012.

Although severing ties with the Japanese, GM has built a stronghold in South Korea after acquiring controlling interest in bankrupt Daewoo Motors in 2012. Renamed GM Korea, the former Daewoo exports the Buick Encore/Chevrolet Trax small CUVs to the U.S. GM Korea’s Chevrolet Sonic also is produced in the U.S. and GM Korea distributes its lineup of basically small vehicles globally.

Still, those who recall GM as the world’s leading automaker may lament that by giving up on Opel and exiting other alliances it’s no longer the juggernaut it once was, China not withstanding.

Meanwhile, how PSA and Opel will fit together remains to be seen. After all, for decades they’ve been spirited rivals in Europe. Also consider the centuries of wars and otherwise uneasy relations between France and Germany, two decidedly different cultures.

Relations between Opel and its American owners have not always been smooth, either. Maybe it’ll help that PSA chief Tavares is neutral in that respect: He’s Portuguese.