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With the recent news of GM europe being taken over by Magna, and the subsequent announcement regarding job losses in the UK, I would not be surprised if the Vauxhall brand disappears altogether. In fact I’m sure that in due course current Vauxhall operations will be rebranded as Opel.

Given the support that German operations are receiving from their Government and the apparent lack of support Vauxhall is getting from ours suggests that any moves that new owners make to cut costs across the company would have a positive bias towards Germany / Opel.

My understanding is that much of the company’s product development is done centrally, with Vauxhall (and presumably each of Opel’s regional operations) doing things such as handling adjustments and marketing. Therefore it could be argued that a Opel UK would in effect have a similar role, however I can’t help thinking that the new owners without, perhaps the sentimental attachment to the British brand will consider Vauxhall an unnecessary extra expense. And I can certainly see the argument from a marketing perspective, as a a change to Opel would fit with the new image they are clearly striving for with the Insignia and new Astra.

My suggestion to the company would be to market both brands simultaneously across europe, each with separate brand identity and values, for example as MGRover did. Although perhaps this is not the best example I believe this is a model that could be successful for GM europe.

Coming back to the reality of a belt tightening era, I hope that I am wrong in prediction. Maybe Vauxhall does not present any greater cost implications than an Opel operation, but I can’t help thinking that Vauxhall’s days maybe numbered.

I was wondering the other day how many different cars I have driven…

  • Austin Rover Metro (’87 D)*
  • Chrysler Voyager (?? ??)
  • Citroen AX (? ?)
  • Fiat Marea Weekend (’98 R)†
  • Ford Escort MKII (’80 V)
  • Ford Escort (’00 x)
  • Ford Fiesta Ghia(’89 G)*
  • Ford Focus (? 51)
  • Honda Civic (’06 56)†
  • Land Rover Defender 90 [off-road only] (? ?)
  • Mazda2 Sport [off-road only] (? ?)
  • Mazda 323 (? E)
  • Mazda MX5 [off-road only] (? ?)
  • Mitsubishi L200 Warrior (?? 53)
  • Mitsubishi L200 Trojan (06 06)
  • Nissan Micra (’88 E)
  • Peugeot 807 (?? ??)
  • Renault Clio (’98 R)
  • Renault Scenic Sport Alize (’99 V)
  • Renault Scenic (’08? 57)^
  • Rover 75 (’04 04)^
  • Skoda Fabia (? ?)
  • Vauxhall Astra LS (’92 J)*
  • Vauxhall Astra SXI (’08? 57)^
  • Vauxhall Astra Club (’05 05)*
  • Vauxhall Corsa Life (’02 52)*
  • Vauxhall Corsa SXI (’06 56)^
  • Vauxhall Vectra LS (’99 T)*
  • Vauxhall Vectra SXI (’08 08)^
  • Vauxhall Zafira (’06 55)^

Plus

  • Ford Escort Van (? P)
  • Ford Transit 85 T280 SWB MR (’06 06)^
  • Vauxhall Viviro (? ?)^
  • Vauxhall Viviro (’08 08)^
  • Volkswagen Transporter, T28 102ps (07 56)^
* Main car for a period
^ Hire car/van
† Test Drive
[Updated 26/05/07, 14/05/07, 03/11/07, 05/11/07, 18/05/08, 09/06/08, 24/08/08, 27/11/08, 19/12/08, 22/09/09, 29/11/09, 29/08/10]

Other people review films and techy stuff on their blogs so I thought I would do some car reviews…

Initial Thoughts

The news Corsa is a really smart ‘small’ car that is very well built, and good to drive. Top marks for Vauxhall. Read the rest of this entry »