Vauxhall dealerships have always been involved in a fierce battle for trade as they inhabit the budget end of the market. In the early years dealerships experienced competition from rival European and American manufacturers although today the greatest competition comes from manufacturers in the Far East.
This is due to the fact that these Far Eastern companies are able to produce cheaper cars that are more agreeable to people's wallets. The result has been a shift in emphasis in terms of the cars that Vauxhall produce, the shift has occurred from the budget models to cars that are more stylish, better equipped and above all desirable. This is the sector of the market that dealerships must capture in order to be successful.
Vauxhall for a long time have been associated with the small car. For a number of years the company has marketed the Corsa. While it has changed shape a few times in its history it has remained edgy. Its major competition in the small car sector has been cars such as the Ford Fiesta and Nissan Micra. Dealerships have been particularly clever about how they have marketed the car, by including free insurance packages and complimentary stereo upgrades they have been able to entice younger drivers into buying.
Additionally by offering extensive credit schemes it has been possible for dealerships to sell more cars, even if the money is delayed. This sector of the market is particularly competitive, nearly every car manufacture produces a city run-around, Peugeot have the 206, Fiat have the 500 and Renault have the Clio. All of these cars are similar so for the Corsa to be so popular has been quite an accomplishment.
Nearly as popular as the city run-around sector is the small family car market. Vauxhall have produced the Astra since the early to mid eighties and for a car that is over twenty year's old it has managed to remain popular in the eyes of buyers; granted it has had many facelifts but the name tag has remained. Currently as a result of the invasion of Far Eastern cars Vauxhall dealerships now market the Astra as a car for those who love driving, the most modern variant having a large panoramic windscreen for those longer, scenic journeys.
However the cars in this market sector represent some of the strongest competition anywhere in the motor industry; the Audi A3 is similar as is the Peugeot 307 but far and above any of these cars is the Ford Focus; considerably the most popular car in the class. To succeed in this sector a car must be comfortable for the entire family whilst also remaining economical, by cracking these two nuts success can be achieved.
The next class up from the small family car is the family/executive car. Vauxhall dealerships are currently awaiting the latest company offering in this class, the Insignia. The mandate for the design of this car has been to provide a great driving experience with comfort and style; as such the Insignia has completely new chassis and design. Competition in this class however is once again fierce. At the upper extremities of this sector are the pricy German models such as the BMW 5 and 6 Series, the Mercedes and C Class and the Audi A6 and A8, however Vauxhall are not targeting this part of the market and are instead focusing on the budget alternatives, once again competition will be cars such as the Ford Mondeo and Peugeot's 406.
These three classes of vehicle to do not represent the entirety of the Vauxhall range but they do represent how hard dealerships must work in an industry that is fiercely competitive. Whilst the company must remain at the very front of development it must also remain loyal to customers and dedicated to providing exemplary services.
Motor industry expert Thomas Pretty looks at how the cars in Vauxhall dealerships fall into some of the most fiercely fought market sectors in motoring.