Vauxhall's importance to GM underlined by new model blitz

The new British-built Vauxhall Astra will form part of the strongest Vauxhall range in years under GM's bold plans for the brand

Speaking at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, General Motors' European boss Karl Thomas Neumann said that its UK subsidiary Vauxhall was a crucial part of the GM empire. “Vauxhall is really important, it is our biggest and most important market in Europe” he said.

He explained that Vauxhall’s UK factory at Ellesmere Port was the lead plant for building the all new Astra, a vital big-selling model for the GM operation. “There is a reason why the new Astra is launching out of Ellesmere Port, because we have never had such a good launch for quality in our internal quality audits, and that speaks volumes for the strength of the factory and its workers.”

Vauxhall’s UK Managing Director Tim Tozer added: “ The workers at Ellesmere Port had to fight for their survival two years ago, and now they are delivering a great product and setting new standards for GM.”

Neumann claimed that the new Astra would surprise and “annoy” rivals from the premium class above with its levels of quality and style. He added that: “the new Astra will be great value but it should not be cheap, we made a mistake on price in the past. Owners want cars that get them a lot of attention, but they still want them to be affordable."

Bold plans for the Vauxhall model range

Karl Neumann said that the arrival of new “brand shaping’ models like the Adam city car and Mokka crossover were attracting new customers to Vauxhall. He claimed that the Adam city car had been a new play for the brand that was attracting new younger buyers. “The average age of an Adam buyer is 37 and in some countries the majority of buyers are female.”

Neumann also promised more new products in the pipeline, including dynamic replacements for the Meriva and Zafira people carriers - developed in a joint venture with Peugeot - that would become crossover utility vehicles.

Neumann added that Vauxhall were developing a large SUV that would replace the slow selling Antara model, which he admitted was a “disappointing” car. Tim Tozer is confident that Vauxhall will soon have its best line-up in years, with new versions of the Corsa and Astra joining the Mokka, Adam and Viva small car. He predicted that the new Insignia due in 2017 would be a major leap forward that would have many design cues from the dramatic Monza Concept car. "We have ambitious plans to grow the brand with our current models being added to by dramatic new models with much improved quality but still at affordable prices,” he said. 

Listen: exclusive interview with GM CEO Mary Barra

Get all the top news stories from the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show here...

Recommended

Vauxhall to resume production at Ellesmere Port site on 17 August
Vauxhall

Vauxhall to resume production at Ellesmere Port site on 17 August

Over 100 new safety measures will see production line at Astra facility restart next month
15 Jul 2020
New 2021 electric Hyundai 45 SUV spied for the first time
Hyundai

New 2021 electric Hyundai 45 SUV spied for the first time

A pre-production version of Hyundai’s retro-styled all-electric SUV has been spotted undergoing development at the Nurburgring
12 May 2020
New Land Rover Defender: full specs and details
Land Rover Defender - studio front
Land Rover Defender 4x4

New Land Rover Defender: full specs and details

The new Land Rover Defender brings advanced tech, proper off-roading ability and starting price of £40k
25 Mar 2020

Most Popular

Energy firms want the right to switch off electric cars charging at home
Electric cars

Energy firms want the right to switch off electric cars charging at home

New powers being sought to allow energy providers to turn off high-drain devices to manage electricity network
18 Sep 2020
How green are electric cars? Polestar data shows ICE trailing EV
News

How green are electric cars? Polestar data shows ICE trailing EV

Electric car maker reveals whole-life CO2 emissions of the Polestar 2 are better than a petrol XC40 - but EV is only 14% cleaner with global energy mi…
17 Sep 2020
New Rolls-Royce Ghost 2020 review
Rolls-Royce Ghost

New Rolls-Royce Ghost 2020 review

The all-new luxury Rolls-Royce Ghost saloon brings new levels of refinement
18 Sep 2020