Vauxhalls may have to be more premium cars in future in order to separate them from stablemate Chevrolet’s products, according to CEO Nick Reilly.
Chevrolet has launched several new models in the past 18 months, including the Orlando MPV and Spark city car, prompting speculation that it may start competing with Vauxhall for sales in the future, damaging overall business for owner General Motors.
“Undoubtedly Chevrolet will move up the pecking order with the quality of new products that have been launched and which are planned for launch,” said Reilly. “Therefore it’s logical that we’d like to see the Opel/Vauxhall product range and company image move up accordingly to keep them separated.
"If we can do that, then that will allow us to get the transaction price of Vauxhall and Opels a little higher. That won’t happen overnight, though: we have to win comparison tests against our rivals and show our technical capabilities.”
However, Reilly stressed that current market analysis shows that only 1.5 per cent of Vauxhall/Opel buyers considered a Chevrolet as an alternative.
“Chevrolet is an American brand with its own reputation and a goal of always being priced below the mainstream,” said Reilly. “In contrast Opel and Vauxhall are very European brands, with reputations for German engineering and pushing the boundaries of innovation.
"Cars such as the Meriva and Ampera show that we can lead in areas of technology in a way that Chevrolet won’t. But what Chevrolet cars will always be is good value.”