Firm believes departure from EU could prompt buyers to turn to fundamentally British brands
Steve Cropley Autocar
10 September 2019

Vauxhall boss Stephen Norman believes his company’s recent emphasis on 'Britishness' in advertising may pay dividends if there is a hard Brexit at the end of next month.

Norman describes the current UK car market as “incredibly difficult” and “not just overheated but absolutely scalding” as manufacturers struggle to clear large car stocks, over-ordered at the beginning of the year, to meet tougher CO2 targets. Even so, in the first nine months of 2019 Vauxhall has managed to restore 0.2% of the market share - to 7.7% - it lost in 2018.

“I believe September will be the last month of ‘normal trading’ as we head into Brexit,” said Norman, “and after that things could get really hard". 

But 65-year old Norman, who sees himself as a natural optimist and describes leading Vauxhall as “the best job I've ever had”, believes there could well be an upside to a hard Brexit for his company. He has prepared an evolution to his “British brand since 1903”  advertising pitch that will carry an even stronger patriotic message. “It will make people smile,” he says, and suggests that in a very difficult market it might even add as much as 0.5% market share.

Norman's comments echo those made recently by Carlos Tavares, the boss of Vauxhall parent company PSA Group, who said that Vauxhall could be Brexit "survivors".

Business next year should be boosted by the reappearance of the performance-oriented VXR badge on a range of electric-only models. There will even be a VXR version of the Vivaro van

Meanwhile, Vauxhall’s first all-electric offering, the Corsa e, will soon hit the market at £29,900, a price Stephen Norman says is dictated by PSA’s own costs. 

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Though ostensibly high against the launch prices of conventional Corsas, the EV will still provide owners with savings after four years of ownership because of its much lower fuelling cost.

Vauxhall is currently clearing the decks for PSA group boss Carlos Tavares’s “six-plus-three” configuration for Opel-Vauxhall — six car silhouettes and three vans — by confirming that Vauxhall will not offer any car models below the new Corsa after January 2020. Viva and Adam are being run out now.

Read more

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New Vauxhall Corsa: UK pricing and spec details announced​

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Comments
11

10 September 2019

Great stuff! Thats what we need, a bit of optimism, from people other than the PM and the boss of vauxhall. 

If you have been led to beleive that as soon as Brexit happens, deal or no-deal, that Britain will suddenly dissolve into the ocean, think again.

JMax

10 September 2019
JMax18 wrote:

Great stuff! Thats what we need, a bit of optimism, from people other than the PM and the boss of vauxhall. 

If you have been led to beleive that as soon as Brexit happens, deal or no-deal, that Britain will suddenly dissolve into the ocean, think again.

 

Huurah! Brexit Britain! You can have any car you want as long as it’s a Vauxhall.

As Parliament knows, we need saving from these fools.

10 September 2019
about dropping out of a comprehensive trade agreement with our neighbouring wealthy trading bloc. The more barriers with the EU the better. Domestic manufacturing BOOMED when East Germany did it. Vauxhall really could become England's answer to the mighty Trabant!

10 September 2019
Slowmo wrote:

about dropping out of a comprehensive trade agreement with our neighbouring wealthy trading bloc. The more barriers with the EU the better. Domestic manufacturing BOOMED when East Germany did it. Vauxhall really could become England's answer to the mighty Trabant!

 

Yes! We can rid ourselves of pesky Eurocrat remoaner clean air rules and power our BRITISH Vauxhalls with old two stroke engines! Truly, the basis of an Empire!

10 September 2019
scrap wrote:

Slowmo wrote:

about dropping out of a comprehensive trade agreement with our neighbouring wealthy trading bloc. The more barriers with the EU the better. Domestic manufacturing BOOMED when East Germany did it. Vauxhall really could become England's answer to the mighty Trabant!

 

Yes! We can rid ourselves of pesky Eurocrat remoaner clean air rules and power our BRITISH Vauxhalls with old two stroke engines! Truly, the basis of an Empire!

Any evidence of this 2 stroke engine?  Thought not

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

10 September 2019
Slowmo wrote:

about dropping out of a comprehensive trade agreement with our neighbouring wealthy trading bloc. The more barriers with the EU the better. Domestic manufacturing BOOMED when East Germany did it. Vauxhall really could become England's answer to the mighty Trabant!

When did East German drop out of the EU?

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

10 September 2019
And you're so clever. East Germany didn't ever drop out of the EU. No country has ever dropped out. Not even Greece went through with their threat of economic suicide. Thank god the UK has the scorching intellects of David "thick as mince" Davis and Dr Liam "I thought he was negotiating global trade deals, where's he gone?" Fox, to show us all the way. And you of course xxxx; you're the best British below the line inaccuracy pointer outer on this website...sticking it to Brussels and all the remoaners!

And I, for one, actually prefer french owned Vauxhall Insignias to Audis and BMWs, they're objectively much better cars and really show we're taking back control.

10 September 2019
Yes, that good old British brand owned by Peugeot SaA of Sochaux, France, and previously owned for 90 years by Genetal Motors of Detroit, USA...

10 September 2019
sidevalve wrote:

Peugeot SaA.

OK, Peugeot SA - phone kindly added an extra a for me...

12 September 2019

Yes, the Vivaro.What have we done to desrve such goodness? VXR was the only sexy thing about Vauxhalls in recent times. Why Vauxhall? Why?

 

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