THE DARK DAYS ARE FI­NALLY OVER AT VAUX­HALL – NOW IT MUST DE­LIVER

Autocar - - COMMENT - Mark Tis­shaw Ed­i­tor mark.tis­shaw@hay­mar­ket.com @mtis­shaw

VAUX­HALL WILL BE dis­ap­pointed to read the ver­dict of its new In­signia GSI range-top­per in this week’s road test (p34). It is a car seem­ingly at odds with the whole­some ‘just right’ value brand propo­si­tion it has un­der PSA own­er­ship.

It also marks some­thing of a low point on which to end the era of cars de­vel­oped – or at least con­ceived – un­der Gen­eral Mo­tors own­er­ship. In its last 15 years un­der GM, the com­pany lost $10 bil­lion (£7.5bn), cut more than 30,000 jobs and shed mar­ket share in Europe.

There re­mains a huge, loyal Vaux­hall fol­low­ing, and it makes some very good cars al­ready with cer­tain ver­sions of the As­tra and In­signia, yet they’ve been launched by a com­pany on the back foot and with­out the con­fi­dence and pride in its brand to shout about how good they are.

That can fi­nally change. Vaux­hall has an ideal owner in the PSA Group, man­aged by per­haps the in­dus­try’s most de­ci­sive CEO, Car­los Tavares. It will be given ev­ery op­por­tu­nity to suc­ceed un­der its re­struc­tur­ing plan, de­signed to get Vaux­hall and Opel prof­itable by 2020, but it will be af­forded no sen­ti­ment or ex­cuses for fail­ure.

We await next year’s Psa-de­vel­oped Corsa with in­ter­est and ex­cite­ment to see how good the ‘new’ Vaux­hall brand can be.

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