“Preliminary results from secret showings of the Vectra replacement are giving the company ‘all the right signals’,” claims GM Europe sales and marketing vice-president and Vauxhall chairman Jonathan Browning.
“We’ve had very positive results from all the development benchmarks that were set for this model range and we are delighted with the feedback that’s been received from clinic sessions that have been staged with potential buyers.
“Obviously, the real test will come when the car goes head to head with the Ford Mondeo in autumn next year, but for now we’re getting all the right signals – it’s very encouraging,” he told Fleet News.
Mr Browning refused to reveal the car’s name (widely tipped to be Insignia) but confirmed Vauxhall would be using its new badge to reflect higher standards of performance compared with the Vectra.
He added: “The decision to use a fresh name is part of positioning a lot of things that are new about this vehicle. It will have a lot of new content and features that will represent a true generation change – it’s appropriate the car will have a new name.
“Every manufacturer looks to move the benchmark upwards. We have already done this with new versions of the Astra and Corsa that represent significant advances on their predecessors.
“Our next-generation mid-size vehicle will be an even bigger step forward and will be another move in our strategy to progressively build Vauxhall’s market penetration.”
Asked about the company’s ambitions to take over UK market leadership from Ford, Mr Browning said the aim was to achieve consistent growth in the retail market and in the small business-to-business corporate sector and for growth to be sustainable.
“While it is always easy to do single ‘slash and burn’ deals, we have no intention of changing our strategy and tactics from month to month – we don’t see that as being the way to build up residual values. We took leadership in June, but that goal is very much secondary to building our business the right way.
“Our performance in the retail sector is a very good gauge of our progress and we expect this to increase year on year.”