September 18, 2014
Vauxhall working on a change of image 0
This autumn rumour has it, a Corsa will be getting a brand new image, according to Tim Tozer, the company’s new chairman and managing director.
Tim Tozar also revealed his predecessor Duncan Aldred’s promise to better Ford and become the number one UK sales spot this year was a bit of a “hospital pass”, though he is confident that they can give Ford a “damn good run for its money next year with three new small cars”.
The refurbished l Adam is first of the new arrival of cars, followed by the new Corsa, which Tozer says is “a car for middle England”. Then next year Agila will get a replacement model, which will be based on the new Chevrolet Spark and built in South Korea. It’s an open secret that this car will be called the Viva in the UK and while Tozer does not deny it, he says he can not officially comment.
1979 was the last time Vauxhall used the name Viva. Then the Viva was the last solely engineered model by the company before they started to re-badge Opel’s. An inside source stated that there is little memory of the Viva with the public, however, “it’s still a really good car name”.
In the meantime Tozer has to find a new identity for the brand, which started building cars in 1903 in a factory on a site now occupied by a supermarket in Vauxhall, London.
There have been three generations of the Viva built between 1963 and 1979.“Vauxhall hasn’t been invested in, nurtured or developed in the way it should,” says Tozer. “Is it sexy and aspirational? No. It’s been pushed into the market without much pull and it’s a bit of a promotional brand, which is sad, because the cars are much better than that.”
Tozer has been meeting with various marketing agencies and also has the help of brand-marketing specialist Tina Müller, Opel’s marketing chief. The aim is to give the brand a new lease of life, but Tozer does not want to overplay his hand using specious terms like ‘premium’. “If I had heard the word premium [in my job interview] I’d have been deeply sceptical,” he says. “Premium usually means there is a problem with the pricing and the positioning of the cars.”
“Vauxhall is a generalist car brand. It’s clearly not a brand for [marketing social demographic groups] As and Bs, we are a brand for Cs and Ds, offering quality, value for money and an identity that is woven into the fabric of Britain.”
While the exact style of the Vauxhall relaunch is “still a work in progress,” Tozer says these days all brands are faced with “savvy customers who like a deal and are quite happy to buy this from Waitrose and that from Aldi”.