Currently reading: Vauxhall’s value is not echoed in recent poor sales, says new boss
Managing director Stephen Norman says there's nothing wrong with the brand or its cars and that he instead needs to look at how they're sold

Vauxhall has an intrinsic value that is not currently echoed in its sales and profit, according to new UK managing director Stephen Norman.

Talking to Autocar on the day he was announced as the new boss of Vauxhall and Opel Ireland, Norman said that Vauxhall is an iconic brand with “modest positioning” that needs to be conveyed to consumers in a way that produces better results than today. 

Vauxhall cuts 250 further jobs at Ellesmere Port

Last year, Vauxhall's UK sales fell by 22% to 195,137 vehicles, taking its market share from 9.3% to 7.7%, the biggest drop suffered by any car maker.

Norman said: “There's nothing wrong with the brand or the cars; I need to look at whether they're being sold in the right channels at the right prices.”

He added that new owner PSA Group, which bought Vauxhall and Opel from General Motors last year, clearly saw the worth of the brands or would not have taken them on.


Norman said the fate of Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port factory, which has announced 650 job cuts in recent months, is “inextricably linked” to improved sales and profit.  

“The motor industry produces what customers require, Supply will follow the demand. 

“If Ellesmere Port is a productive factory and demand is high enough, then clearly the plant has a role to play.”

Norman recognised that SUVs will continue to play a key role in Vauxhall’s success, describing the main focus of its product plan to be SUVs for “the foreseeable future”.

He would not be drawn on how quickly electrified models would notably contribute to Vauxhall sales except to say that they were of “increasing importance”. PSA has already confirmed that Vauxhall will launch an electric version of the Corsa in 2019 and a plug-in hybrid Grandland X.

Back to top

Norman replaced Rory Harvey, who will leave the business at the end of February. Norman was previously PSA's sales and marketing boss.

Read more 

Vauxhall Corsa review 

Vauxhall Astra review 

Vauxhall Viva review

Join the debate

Add a comment…
opelvaux 12 January 2018

Vauxhall and Opel

The really sad reality is both brands suffered under GM.  Decades of underinvestment and lack of the ability to sell outwith europe limited what GME (as it used to be called) could do.

In the early 90's Vauxhall cars were way better than Fords, problem was GM would never allow them to be a global player as they would steal sales from the other brands (which a lot of the time were rebadged Opel/Vauxhalls a great example was the Omega which became a Cadillac)

The Insignia MkI was a good car, not a great car but a start back to better times as is the current Astra and by the looks of it the Insignia MkII.  Lets hope the new Corsa continues this trend.  The new X range (names aside) - Crossland, i'm not too sure of the looks but having sat in one it seems pretty decent.  Grandland again a pretty decent looking machine when I saw one in the showroom and it's getting pretty good reviews.

The new Mokka (2019) needs to be good as its the 2nd best seller in the range and the current Mokka is too close to the Crossland.  Finally when the largest SUV is launched Vauxhall will have a strong body of SUVs BUT I agree Vauxhall need to sort out it's dealers they need to be improved.  If PSA can get the Opel/Vauxhall foundation range right it could be turned around.

Said it before they need a base range like:

  • Adam + Adam X (5 door)
  • Corsa + Crossland X
  • Astra + Grandland X
  • Insignia + Insignia X
  • Monza

Then the halo models:

  • Hybrid models of Corsa, Astra, Insignia, Monza + the X Ranges
  • GSI models of Adam, Corsa, Astra and Insignia
  • VXR/OPC models of Astra, Insignia and Monza
  • New VXR220/Speedster

GM should be ashamed of what it did to it's european brands, just a shame SAAB had to die.  I hope Opel/Vauxhall recover and it would help if the press and naysayers gave them a chance!

nicebiscuit 12 January 2018

Needs a step change

It can be done - Fiat 500 and Citroen C4 Cactus were good examples of desirable vehicles that gave brand identity.

The Astra is a pretty good car.  Give it a 5 year warranty and I'd still just about rather have one over a Hyundai.

The real answer though would have been to give it a gorgeous new bodyshell and interior and call it a Saab 99.   The underpinnings and 2.0l turbo would have been bang on brand.   Curse you GM... (waves fist...)

jonboy4969 12 January 2018

it is the dealers that are

it is the dealers that are hurtung vauxhall, haivng the lie, and fiddle the figures for a sale does not give them any type of satisfaction, we bought a Zafira Tourer, but the salesteam were so c**p and they lied and fiddled the figures, so they got the sale, when we could ave gotten it cheaper elsewhere, if they had told us that the discount had already been used,  in the numbers, when they didnt even know we were entitled to that discount, a total bunch of tossers, that's Murkets in Cambridgeshire.