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