Opel is bidding to overcome the “ambivalence problem” that it currently faces with UK car buyers
9 January 2015

Both Vauxhall and Opel need to improve their brand image, according to Vauxhall managing director Tim Tozer and Opel-Vauxhall design chief Mark Adams. 

Adams said he believes Vauxhall and Opel products are now very good, but public perception has yet to catch up. “With Vauxhall, we have to get the brand image back,” he said.

“We lost it in the ’90s, but now there’s a consistency to the product. My mid-term Utopia is to equal brand image with product, and it’s the same with Opel.”

Opel has faced “prejudice” in Germany, said Tozer, whereas Vauxhall’s issue is “an ambivalence problem, but the design language is coming together, and from that platform, we have to strike resonance with the UK market”.

Adams didn’t rule out the idea of a halo car, but one won’t arrive any time soon. He said: “We have had to do the core cars first, then the more interesting ones, and we have had to get sustainably profitable. So this sort of car is not right now, it’s not next year, but it could happen in the future.”

Tozer echoed Adams’ point: “To get to a point where we can do more tangential stuff, we need the 80 per cent foundation before we can play with the 20 per cent above.”

Reviving Vauxhall’s image will involve a return to UK-specific marketing, instead of the Opel-based material used today. “Vauxhall is a part of the fabric of Britain,” said Tozer.

“From now on, we won’t be cut and pasting Opel ads.”

Tozer is currently in the process of appointing a brand marketing director for Vauxhall to take control of the firm’s “creative messaging”.

Dan Stevens

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Comments
19

9 January 2015
....going into administration and folding?


9 January 2015
Winston Churchill wrote:

....going into administration and folding?

I know you're a wind up merchant but please stop calling yourself Winston Churchill. The man had his faults but he stands for everything that was great about Britain (he was voted Britain's finest by the general public, of course) and I find it deeply offensive that you spout such childish comments about British workers using his name. Criticise by all means but stop calling yourself Winston Churchill. Please call yourself something else; if you need any help with this you only have to ask.

289

9 January 2015
Straff, Ignore (so called) Winston, he is not here for sensible discussion. He is just white noise in the background.
Tim Tozer is a great guy, I know him personally. And given that they have finally (as a company) put there hands up and recognised the problem, I would say this is a good first step.
Vauxhall's designs are on the whole pretty good now, and certainly as good as the other players in the volume market. The name holds them back IMO, but Opel as a name isn't the answer as it means little in the UK...except for those old enough to remember, a failed effort back in the 70's. In fact the Opel badge doesn't do GM any favours in Europe either.
Maybe a completely fresh name is needed...and not some meaningless American brand name...I think Buick was proffered.
I know this will send a shiver down the spine of many, but I wonder if there is so much historical damage done to the once proud name of Vauxhall, that it is irredeemable now. I would also get rid of the very dated Griffin logo too. If they must use the Vauxhall name I would have a very cool V logo instead.
I wouldn't bet against Tim turning the company around though...given a free enough hand!

9 January 2015
i have always enjoyed the Vauxhall's I have owned, though I haven't owned one for many yearI
Their image isn't a problem for me, bit ordinary but certainly preferable to me than the overrated VW/Audi/BMW brigade

9 January 2015
...as I'll freely admit that despite being an oldish (43) I veiw Vauxhall as an old mans brand that I've no aspiration of buying into. Oddly I view the Opal brand as quite a bit 'cooler'. I can only put this down to the memory of the Opal Manta I lusted after in my youth versus the Vauxhall Cavalier my own father drove me around in.

9 January 2015
Could call it Buick

9 January 2015
The cars (New half ar$ed Corsa aside) are fairly decent. The problem is the dealers. The buy them high, sell them low attitude is what brings vauxhalls image down. No one buys a Vauxhall at list price, and no one expects to, which is why they have a poorer image. If I went to buy an Audi, I'd expect a discount, but not to the same levels that I'd get off a Vauxhall. Two options to sort that out.

1. Drop prices down to what they actually sell the cars apfor, be more realistic. Then offer little to no discounts, but maybe thrown in a couple of optional upgrades free.

2. Have the inflated list prices, but don't discount. Yes, there would be a drop in sales, but this would hopefully be outweighed by the higher transaction prices. More exclusivity might actually help branding in long term also.

9 January 2015
...starting this process by trying to pass off something that looks like an old Corsa (with what in a year's time will be the design language of the Astra before last) as something new. A deeply cynical move which, fortunately, a lot of people have seen through already. Maybe the BSM graphics will help hide the window graphics and shut lines.

9 January 2015
I know the current one sold well but that's a good looking car in the picture.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

9 January 2015
Frankly, Vauxhall have a long way to go before I would even be merely ambivalent about the brand. It doesn't matter how good the cars might be (which they aren't), they won't get on any list of any car I might consider.
How about calling them all Opels and have done with it?

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