Currently reading: Vauxhall launches new strategy aimed at promoting its 'Britishness'
Fresh models and post-Brexit marketing campaign are part of ambitious plan to increase UK market share by a third in two years
Steve Cropley Autocar
News
4 mins read
21 January 2020

Vauxhall is using Britain’s imminent exit from the EU as the backdrop for its boldest marketing campaign in years. The move is part of a bid to boost its UK market share for cars and vans by a third – from 7.5% to double figures – by 2022.

Managing director Stephen Norman believes Vauxhall has a unique opportunity to benefit from a possible post-election change in the UK’s social landscape. It has already begun using a challenging new strapline – ‘New Rules, Britannia’ – for a radical, all-media advertising campaign that started last month with the launch of the all-new Corsa.

Building on the successful ‘British brand since 1903’ campaign that he launched soon after his appointment two years ago, Norman intends to position Vauxhall more directly as a maker of cars and vans ‘Built in Britain’ or ‘Made exclusively for Britain’. The move will make Vauxhall one of the country’s biggest spenders on automotive advertising.

To achieve his double-digit goal, Norman admits he needs to more than double Vauxhall’s conquest sales, potentially gaining many new customers – mainly from Ford. The plan depends on four main themes: boosting retail car sales from its current 6.6% market share to double digits; doubling light commercial vehicle sales from its current 10%; making the Corsa-e the top-selling electric car in the UK; and more than halving Vauxhall’s sales to the less profitable daily rental market, which currently accounts for a fifth of volume.

Vauxhall wants to achieve its aims with a vehicle range that Norman describes as “six plus three”: six passenger cars and three vans. Although the current range is smaller than in recent years – the unprofitable Viva and Adam have been dropped – Norman believes the far greater market appeal of the forthcoming models will more than make the difference.

“The new Corsa is a terrific car,” he said, “and when the new Mokka arrives, it will double our small-car appeal. The new Astra, which we’ll start selling in 2021, offers improvements that are almost exponential compared with its predecessor. Our other models will provide important support but these three will be the brand drivers we’ll need to more than double our conquest sales.

“Then, if our existing brand loyalty holds up, which it should, we’ll get to double figures. Of course, then the big job will be to keep it.”

By 2022, Vauxhall will be selling electric versions of the Corsa and new Mokka (due at the end of 2020) and it will have launched a plug-in hybrid version of the new Astra (mid-2021) to sell alongside the existing Grandland X PHEV.

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Vauxhall’s sporting VXR brand will return as e-VXR and be applied to the Corsa, Vivaro and Mokka, giving a clue to these models’ driving characteristics. Although Norman believes the Corsa-e will become Britain’s best-selling electric car, he says Tesla will probably be Britain’s best-selling electric marque.

The ‘New Rules’ marketing campaign dates from last September and a fateful conversation about business growth between Norman and PSA Group CEO Carlos Tavares. “He asked me when we expected to achieve a double-digit market share,” Norman said, “and I had to say we hadn’t exactly planned for that. We were looking at less than that. Give me a few weeks, I said, and we’ll have a plan…”

Norman confirmed the Insignia flagship will be replaced, adding that cars of its size still play an important flagship role. Vauxhall-Opel’s new role as part of the big PSA Group – soon to be further enlarged by a merger with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles – may well improve the business case for a model that is its class’s top seller by a significant margin.

Will the next-generation Astra be built in UK?

Vauxhall MD Stephen Norman has said a decision whether to build the next-generation Astra at Ellesmere Port has not yet been reached, but he agreed it must be close and the Ellesmere workforce has made “enormous” efforts to promote a continuation of production. “I can’t say for certain that the Astra will stay in the UK,” he said, “but there are absolutely no signs that it won’t.”

READ MORE

Next-gen Corsa will be all-electric, says Vauxhall boss

Vauxhall Mokka X taken off sale with replacement a year away

Refreshed Vauxhall Insignia range features 227bhp GSi flagship

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Pietro Cavolonero 21 January 2020

Is anyone who reads Autocar proud to British anymore?!?!

The lack of pride in our country is what has held us back for at least 50 years! So Vauxhall isn't "British" so what? Opel Astras have been built here for 40+ years and exported all over Europe.  It's about time people woke up to the fact we are about to go it "alone" again and hope our weak-willed politicians start representing the people who voted them in.

There is no shame in making your country of birth or residence a strong economic force, the UK has lived in the shadow of the USA & Europe for too long, no doubt all the hairy-arsed Guardian readers will throw accusations of jingoism, imperialism and some other -isms but the fact remains we need to put the GREAT back into Great Britain for all our sakes.

Here endeth the rant....

typos1 22 January 2020

[quote=Pietro Cavolonero]

[quote=Pietro Cavolonero]
typos1 22 January 2020

Pietro Cavolonero wrote:

Pietro Cavolonero wrote:

The lack of pride in our country is what has held us back for at least 50 years! So Vauxhall isn't "British" so what? Opel Astras have been built here for 40+ years and exported all over Europe.  It's about time people woke up to the fact we are about to go it "alone" again and hope our weak-willed politicians start representing the people who voted them in.

There is no shame in making your country of birth or residence a strong economic force, the UK has lived in the shadow of the USA & Europe for too long, no doubt all the hairy-arsed Guardian readers will throw accusations of jingoism, imperialism and some other -isms but the fact remains we need to put the GREAT back into Great Britain for all our sakes.

Here endeth the rant....

What you mean the MINORITY of the people - 46% - that voted them in ? Welcome to democracy the British way, where the minority wins, I m not sure this warrants "pride in our country" more like shame and embarrassment. Oh and the "Great" in Britain is there because it mean "big Brittany", NOT "great" in the way you use it, learn some facts before you start preaching right wing rubbish.

Symanski 21 January 2020

Boris's Brexit edition.

Wheels fall off it after the 31st.

 

S2bear 21 January 2020

They have an image problem

Vauxhall has had an image problem for years - they usually fell short of the competitive offerings from europe.  I don't think launching a campervan and calling it the Vauxhall Blighty has helped them or will change anything.  

It all just smacks of jumping on the Brexit bandwagon, is cheesey and takes punters for mugs.  Britishness matters not if your car's depreciation is eye watering.  Vauxhalls will be bought because the buyer wants a Vauxhall and/or because it has an attractive finance deal attached.  Trying to compete with other offerings on the basis of Britishness is a very poor strategy... imho.

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