While it’s somewhat removed from the minds of American buyers, Opel remains an important asset for the European automotive industry. And, much like Buick, Cadillac and Chevrolet, Opel continues to look for new ways to become relevant in the eyes of the consumer.
That’s where Tina Mueller, Opel Chief Marketing Officer, has had her work cut out for her.
Automotive News recently highlighted her work, and penned what she has been responsible for with the once floundering General Motors division.
Foremost, Mueller was once head of the cosmetics side of Henkel, a German consumer-products powerhouse. She was approached about the Opel position in early 2013, where she then drafted a proposal for Opel CEO, Dr. Karl Neumann-Thomas, on how to begin a change in perceptions for the brand.
“I told him: ‘Make the brand much more modern, more fashionable,'” she said. “‘Build a comeback story. Give people the feeling that this is a restart of the brand and the company.'”
This led to the highly-engaging “Unpark” campaign by Opel, and has spread to many image changes over the course of the last two years. Edgy advertising, as displayed by the latest “Upset The Luxury Class” campaign, has become a stronghold for Opel’s strategy, distancing itself from other established rivals.
Neumann says Opel’s sales rebound “is not least based on our clearly improved brand image,” which he credited to Mueller and her team.
Mueller also credits part of the marketing success to exclusive in-class features for Opel vehicles, including the wellness massaging seats in the 2016 Opel Astra, and perfume dispenser accessory for the car. She says Opel must continue to use these types of GM resources to continue to stand out.
In fact, during the 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show, Mueller begged GM CEO Mary Barra to offer up some of the automaker’s best to Opel.
“I told her ‘Please make sure we get automated drive technology early in Opel,'” Mueller said. “If I can have one or two features that nobody else has at that moment, I can win.”