The all-new Vauxhall Corsa will usher in a new era for the brand when it is launched this autumn, according to the firm's boss, Tim Tozer.
Tozer says the Corsa's launch this autumn will be used to kick-start a raft of changes that will transform how the brand is perceived by customers and the level of service they will receive across its dealership network.
This transformation will then be accelerated again in 2015 by the launch of a new city car, likely to be called Vauxhall Viva, which will fight the likes of the VW Up.
'Today, there is a clear gap between the perception of Vauxhall and the reality of it,' said Tozer. 'We have products across our range that are substantially better than they are perceived to be. In the past two years we have launched some seriously good cars.
'We are formulating a marketing plan that can help bridge that divide between that quality and how people perceive it. Alongside plans to transform other shortcomings, from strengthening dealers to filling the network to capacity, we believe that there are genuine gains to be made for Vauxhall.'
Tozer declined to be drawn on how the brand would articulate its claimed gains, saying the plan was still being formulated ahead of the Corsa’s reveal at this autumn’s Paris Motor Show. However, he hinted that part of the proposition would be to present Vauxhall as a 'savvy value proposition'.
'I’m not suggesting we are a value brand – only Dacia can truly claim that – but I do believe we can play on how consumers like to be seen as savvy,' said Tozer. 'We build great cars that are properly engineered and, just as people shop at Aldi and Waitrose – perhaps they can be persuaded to shop at a premium car brand and with us, if we can get the messaging right.'
He also suggested Vauxhall’s retailing structure needed to change. 'We are looking to open around 10 new locations and strengthen the dealers we have,' he said. 'Clearly we can’t have a situation where customers know more about our cars than the sales people, for instance; there are clearly defined areas for us to improve in.'