Peugeot family says Opel deal paves way for global expansion-paper

(Corrects to attribute quote to Jean-Philippe Peugeot,

paragraph 3)

FRANKFURT, March 19 (Reuters) - PSA Group's

acquisition of General Motors division Opel gives the

French carmaker greater scale to pursue global expansion plans,

family shareholder Jean-Philippe Peugeot told German paper Welt

am Sonntag.

Earlier this month, PSA Group agreed to buy Opel from GM in

a deal valuing the business at 2.2 billion euros ($2.3 billion),

helping the French firm to become Europe's second largest

automaker by sales.

"This will allow the group to conquer the rest of the world

step by step. This remains an important goal for PSA,"

Jean-Philippe Peugeot said in a joint interview together with

his cousin Robert Peugeot.

The Peugeot family clan controls 22.19 percent of PSA

Group's voting rights, and 13.68 percent of the company's

capital, said.

Although there are larger automotive companies measured by

absolute annual sales, what counts is that you have at least

three million vehicles produced in one core market to get real

economies of scale, Robert Peugeot, who is chairman of PSA

Group's strategy committee, told the paper.

"All large carmakers have a volume of three million cars in

one important market," Robert Peugeot told Welt am Sonntag,

explaining that the purchase of Opel will help PSA Group in this

respect.

Although the combination of the German and French carmakers

increases the group's overall exposure to Europe, the brands

remain complementary.

"Opel is strong in markets where PSA is not so strong,"

Robert Peugeot said, explaining that Opel sells more cars in

Germany than Peugeot, DS and Citroen combined, while Vauxhall

sells more cars in Great Britain than all of PSA's brands

together.

"There is very little cannibalisation between the brands,"

Robert Peugeot said.

A deal between the French and the Germans has been under

consideration for years, even before 2012 when GM and Peugeot

signed a deal to develop some passenger cars together, Robert

Peugeot's cousin Jean-Philippe told the paper.

"Our family thought about getting closer to Opel even before

the agreement with General Motors," Jean-Philippe Peugeot said,

adding that the time wasn't right back then.

(Reporting by Edward Taylor and Gilles Gulliaume. Editing by

Jane Merriman)