As the owners of French car manufacturer Peugeot agree to purchase the Vauxhall and Opel arm of the General Motors group, it’s a good time to look at the current public perception of the brands being bought.
The European wing of GM has been struggling for some time with it last making a profit in 1999 – and over the last few years Opel and Vauxhall’s share of the market has slowly shrunk.
YouGov brand tracking data both here and on the continent shows the current state of Vauxhall/Opel’s consumer perception, and how much of a challenge its new owners face in revitalising the brand.
In the UK, its Impression score (whether people have a favourable impression of the brand) is five points lower than it was at the beginning of 2014. While its score of +12 is still positive, it is lower than rivals such as Toyota (+22) and Nissan (+18).
It is a similar situation when it comes to Vauxhall’s Value score (whether people think the brand provides good value for money). While it is comfortably in the top ten of the automotive sector with a score of +10, it is still some way behind leaders Ford (+20).
The situation is a little healthier in Germany, however. Opel is in the top ten of the automotive sector in terms of Impression score (+18), this is despite a significant drop in Buzz score (a decrease of 7 points)
In France it currently ranks in the middle of the sector with an Impression score of +13. Notably, there has actually been a slight increase in Buzz score in this market of +2.
Whilst there have been some reassurances offered to current workers in plants in Luton and Ellesmere Port, naturally there are questions about the long term commitment to manufacturing Vauxhall models in Britain – due in no small part to the debate over Britain’s changing relationship with Europe.