Opel-Vauxhall will need more “flagship” models, at least one of them positioned above Insignia, if it is to achieve the improved brand-image its new management seeks, according to group CEO Karl-Friedrich Stracke.
Speaking in Frankfurt last week, Stracke made it clear, however, that any discussion of a range expansion would have to wait until four other “white space” models the company is about to launch — the Ampera range extender, the Mokka B-segment SUV, the “Junior” city car and a new luxury convertible — were well established in the market.
“I believe we need a top of the line car,” says Stracke, “to be positioned in the luxury segment. The Insignia car has done a great job of showing we can make premium-like products, but establishing ourselves properly in this territory will be a long journey.
“We would also benefit from launching a large crossover, something to fight the BMW X5 and Mercedes ML, and possibly another roadster — a car with a deeper connection into the company than the Opel-Vauxhall VX220 (which everyone knows was a Lotus underneath) and the Opel Speedster that came from the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky.”
Stracke believes the way to improve a brand is through better products and customer service. “It is not easy,” he says, “but if you can do it the image comes along, too. The way to succeed is to build the best cars in each class, even against VW and Ford. It’s a tough assignment, but we think we know how to do it.”