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”.