While much of the news surrounding General Motors involves its recent sale of the Opel brand to France’s PSA Group, let’s not forget GM’s former British marque, Vauxhall.
Along with Opel went Vauxhall to PSA Group, which is only sold in the United Kingdom, and had been part of GM’s brand portfolio for longer than Opel itself. However, with the sale, Vauxhall managing director, Rory Harvey, said it’s business as usual.
“Vauxhall has a bright future,” he told CAR. “It’s a stalwart of the UK, and will remain so.”
By business as usual, Harvey means the brand will continue to work at overcoming the effects of the Brexit vote, which has contributed to lower sales in the United Kingdom. Sales of Vauxhall vehicles were down 13 percent last year.
“The net loss is due to a shift in currency following the Brexit vote. It’s been a strategic decision; we’re selling fewer cars to rental fleets, and are doing less Motability,” he said. “The good news is an uplift in residual values.”
Specifically, the 2018 Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport will be aimed more directly at retail sales rather than business owners. Shockingly, 98 percent of the previous-generation Insignias were sold to businesses. Also to help with the retail push will be the 2018 Crossland X and upcoming Grandland X, two crossovers at a time when the segment continues to grow rapidly in the UK.
As for the PSA influence, Harvey said major effects won’t be seen for some time. He stated the very beginning effects of the brand’s new French owners won’t be seen for at least eight months.