"Winds of change at GM have blown in a brilliant new Corsa"

The new Vauxhall Corsa proves GM is no longer playing catch-up, says editor-in-chief Steve Fowler

General Motors is a company that describes itself as ‘tradition rich’, yet the way it’s been going about its business in recent years, since its much publicised post-bankruptcy restructure, has been anything but traditional.

Let’s start with the management – making Mary Barra CEO and Dan Ammann President was the start of some really bold thinking.

Having ridden up the hill at Goodwood alongside Ammann, I caught up with him again at the recent Paris show. Ammann joined GM’s finance team from investment bank Morgan Stanley, but his enthusiasm for the cars and technology is catching. He spoke to me with great passion about GM’s new range of engines that show the company isn’t only playing catch-up, it’s taking a lead – as our drive of the new Vauxhall Corsa shows.

GM is led in Europe by Karl-Thomas Neumann, who joined from VW – a rare jump previously. And when it came to appointing a new MD for Vauxhall, GM again took the unusual step of looking outside and appointed Tim Tozer, with vast experience of Japanese brands and dealers.

So how does that affect you and the Vauxhalls you might buy? Simple: there’s a greater focus on what UK customers actually want, rather than the previous Europe-wide one-size-fits-all approach. Witness the decision to revive the Viva name for Vauxhall’s city car, rather than use Opel’s name. Let’s be honest, a Vauxhall Karl just sounds silly.

And so to the Corsa – launching in the UK with Vauxhall badges at the same time the Opel version is being launched on the continent (another rarity), it features special Vauxhall settings to better suit our needs. And it works! Roll on next year’s UK-built Vauxhall Astra. On this form, it should be great.

Are you looking forward to the new Vauxhall Corsa? Let us know in the comments below, on Twitter or on Facebook.

Recommended

Vauxhall Corsa review
Vauxhall Corsa front
Vauxhall Corsa

Vauxhall Corsa review

The Vauxhall Corsa is fun to drive, well-equipped and a great all-rounder, but steep prices hold it back
17 Sep 2020
Vauxhall Corsa vs Renault Clio vs Volkswagen Polo
Vauxhall Corsa Renault Clio VW Polo - group
Vauxhall Corsa

Vauxhall Corsa vs Renault Clio vs Volkswagen Polo

In a tough supermini contest, the all-new Vauxhall Corsa takes on the Renault Clio and Volkswagen Polo
27 Jan 2020
'2020 is set to be the year of the EV... and the diesel?'
OPINION Vauxhall Corsa
Vauxhall Corsa

'2020 is set to be the year of the EV... and the diesel?'

As diesel continues to get a bad press, some bigwigs in the industry think a comeback is one the cards, says Steve Fowler
20 Nov 2019
Vauxhall Corsa vs Peugeot 208 vs Audi A1
Vauxhall Corsa vs Peugeot 208 vs Audi A1 - header
Vauxhall Corsa

Vauxhall Corsa vs Peugeot 208 vs Audi A1

The Vauxhall Corsa is aiming for the top of the supermini class. We see if it has a chance by testing it against the Peugeot 208 and Audi A1
13 Nov 2019

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
Audi A3 vs Mercedes A-Class
Car group tests

Audi A3 vs Mercedes A-Class

The Audi A3 and Mercedes A-Class are strong competitors in the premium hatchback market - we find out which is best
19 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