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The slow death of Vauxhall?

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my book

 

 

I've got a copy of your book and sometimes revisit it by reading a chapter on the bog. So I'd like to express my thanks for bringing some amusement to the otherwise serious business of taking a dump!

 

To keep things on topic, I have an Astra K base for work. It's absolutely, 100%, a blue c-segment car. That's all I can really say about it, good or bad. And I guess that's the problem, it's all just a bit "not just good, good enough".

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I wrote about the mess at the Frontera factory in my book, I used to sell quality inspection equipment to car factories back then.

Got a link to your book? You've sold it to me already as it sounds like a good read!

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So I don't post a big quote again.

 

I've got a Frontera. It's 24 years old. It works and isn't made of rust so that day someone built one that worked!

 

So this thread has been interesting reading. So far I've worked out that most of you think fuck em and let Vauxhall shut yet they still sold more cars than Toyota last year.

 

My conclusion is fucked if I know what to do as I don't have a degree in business or the car industry. I do know people are greedy and if there's still money to be made then they want it.

 

I know it sounds stupid, and I'm sure someones said it before, but what if they changed track with Vauxhall and tried to make it some kind of premium thing. The stupid Americans love all this 'British' this that and the other.

 

Get the plastic wood and picnic tables out, replacement Rover here they come.

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We (a car main dealership) dealt with our local Vauxhall dealers for many years. We were both family firms and got on well. Vauxhall insisted that they closed long established branches and moved into a new "box". Much more modern, but closing the several high street branches and opening one replacement on an industrial estate. 

 

 All was ok for a couple of years, then Vauxhall bought them out. Within a few weeks, the parts man we had dealt with for years had left and nobody ever answered or returned calls. One day we found a crumpled note shoved in our letterbox basically saying that if we wanted parts they would now come from the far side of London (we're in Bromley) and may take several days! The note was badly typed and poorly spelt, really not something that a business should be handing out.  We tried the new system once, ringing a call centre somewhere, where they knew nothing about cars. told us we no longer had an account, and there were no trade discounts!

 

 So we now use the next nearest franchised Vauxhall dealer and get the same good service that we got before, prompt delivery, knowledgeable staff, trade discounts etc. I suspect the franchise got the news this morning. We will probably end up using Euros!

 

 Basically, if the company themselves deliberately make the service worse, then this does not suggest great things about their business sense.  I would be sad to see Vauxhall go, but have never owned one and have no desire to buy one. 

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Hard to believe the manufacturer that we are talking about could create a vehicle with this interior -post-4771-0-22109600-1523996952_thumb.jpg

My take is on the situation with vauxhall is this - their cars used to be generally more mechanically robust than a ford, even if they were not as good to drive the fleet managers loved them and those who worked in the trade appreciated their strengths.

 

Times have changed - the mechanical toughness is no longer there ( the same for all manufacturers IMHO), the brand has little kudos and there are'nt really any models people aspire to owning.

 

I think the insignia estate is a cracking looking car - but I would'nt entertain one, especially a diesel, due to their issues ( the cdti has problems with the oil pick up ), the mondeo is a better car.

 

I have had quite a few vauxhalls. It is unlikely I will own another, which is sad.

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I learnt to drive in BSM Corsa Ds, even factory fresh they were a dull uninspiring drive, the interior felt cheap, and they had hard, unsupportive seats. Think it was either SXi or Design spec too, not a basic one. Didn't really like them.

 

BSM have switched to Peugeot now, 208/308s.

I owned a 2012 Corsa D with a 1.4T. Worst car I've ever owned, quality was shoddy (left the factory with the wrong shocks on the front), steering was devoid of feel, seats were hard, gearbox was crunchy, tide was crap and it depreciated faster than an elephant falling off a cliff.

My supervisor's Astra was falling to bits at 60k and his dad's example was worse.

 

My Dad's year old Corsa van has been at the dealer for several weeks as it's broken and they can't work out why...

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Hard to believe the manufacturer that we are talking about could create a vehicle with this interior -attachicon.gif0INs8AmG.jpg

My take is on the situation with vauxhall is this - their cars used to be generally more mechanically robust than a ford, even if they were not as good to drive the fleet managers loved them and those who worked in the trade appreciated their strengths.

 

Times have changed - the mechanical toughness is no longer there ( the same for all manufacturers IMHO), the brand has little kudos and there are'nt really any models people aspire to owning.

 

I think the insignia estate is a cracking looking car - but I would'nt entertain one, especially a diesel, due to their issues ( the cdti has problems with the oil pick up ), the mondeo is a better car.

 

I have had quite a few vauxhalls. It is unlikely I will own another, which is sad.

d2a128c02a3524ae8fc3f03a10832b1c.jpgc

 

 

No manufacturer would be as bold as this these days , to be honest there is hardly any brand identity these days

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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If Corsa’s are so badly made maybe the Spanish factory where they are made will get the bullet - it’s not as if PSA are short of facilities there with at least two others.

 

By the way, this dealer contract cancellation is Europe wide and isn’t just a Vauxhall thing.

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One thing is for sure, a bus load of shitters of here aren't going to be able to do anything GM didn't or PSA might or might not do, we are passengers on that bus.

 

BMC, BL, Austin Rover, Rover once had damn near 50% UK Market share and failed to hank on to it.

 

Vauxhall used to bang out MK2 and MK3 Cavaliers like they were going out of fashion.

 

Mind you, Peugeot did well with the 405 and the 406, then they brought out that ugly mother fooker of the 'Garfield Grilled' slapped arse model that replaced it.

 

Some VM's just can't help themselves. Even Land Rover have done it with that latest discovery. There was some shite on the Internet by the designer moaning about the offset number plate not being the right size when the dealers put them on. Fess up man, the design is just shite, you had one job and you fooled it up.

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I was complaining to somebody today about the new Discovery's spare wheel placement.  Stupid, stupid, stupid.  He complained that the newest Land Rovers he'd looked at didn't even come with a spare.

 

For context, his wife drives a 16-plate Range Rover.  He drives whatever he wants to that day.  Frequently it's an old Italian motorbike or his LDV van.  Great bloke. 

 

Sometimes designers make decisions that even a layperson like me can see are stupid.

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I was in our local Vauxhall Dealership today collecting a Vivaro from a service.  For all the statements of lacklustre cars I think the new Insignia is the best looking Vauxhall since the Calibra and better looking than any Mondeo since the mk1.  That might be because I think it was styled as the Buick Regal with a few very subtle styling clues from the 70's models.

 

 

With you on that. I mostly don't notice modern cars, but the Insignia strikes me as actually attractive, in a way no Vauxhall of that class has been since the Mk3 Cavalier.

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Their nice to sit in too, when Gareth was filling out the form for his pool car one, I actually sat in the front and liked it... Felt well nailed together, seats actually felt supportive, dash well laid out etc. He said it was lovely to drive too. Not exciting, not dull, just 'lovely'

 

Downsides were the auto handbrake needed 5 feet to pull away with, 49mpg at best with his weekend, and it beeped at him when he went over 70 until he turned it off in a sub menu...

 

We then went looking and sadly their holding their value, only quite fucked ones were below £3k,one at £2k that needed a turbo. Works example is near £7k for the equivilant.

 

If any survive to vectra territory prices (sub £800) ill be tempted! Gareth did wonder about getting a loan to get one and running it for 5/6 years but I got him to read this thread and about the fun issues they seem to have and he didn't talk about the idea afterwards...

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I think the way they handled the Zafira fires so poorly, will have had a greater impact than any of us realised. It was appalling the way Vauxhall tried to shift attention on to suppliers of components and they didn't come out of the Commons Select Committe particularly well.

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My first thought about the dealer closures was why? I can only assume that if they are too close together they can drive down prices for a brand that is now trying to sell cars at RRP rather than just above cost to fleets.

 

The problem is that Vauxhall don't have a strong enough brand to drag people miles to a dealership. People will travel to buy an Audi, Mini or Land Rover but just want convenience for porridge like a Corsa.

 

Ludlow is at least 20 miles from a city so plenty of locals buy Vauxhalls and Suzukis from Ludlow Motors or Land Rovers from Shukers. A few years back you couldn't move for Agilas and Wagon Gs but they wouldn't travel 20-30 miles to buy them. If the VX franchise goes we'll just have more Suzukis here than Hamamatsu.

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Maybe they're changing the way they sell cars by having a more online presence. I'd be much more inclined to buy a new car if I could look at it in person, then cost it all out and decide online. I just can't stand dealing with car sales people.

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Who actually buys new Vauxhalls with their own money anyway?

 

Surely a massive proportion of them are motability and daily rental, bought by the “I’ll never buy a new car you lose thousands when you drive away” crowd at 6 months old who wonder why the gearboxes are shite after life on a rental fleet

 

Edit - I’m not one of these “motability is a free car” pricks, I just mean it’s a discounted fleet sale to the operating company

 

I saw loads of new white Mokkas with similar (English) registrations the last time I was in Scotland - can only assume one of the rental firms has a bunch at the airports

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Edit - I’m not one of these “motability is a free car” pricks,

 

 

That's just it they are not free most have to pay a deposit some quite large too, then if a person takes the motability car they loose weekly payments so can hardly be called free anyway, more like a discounted PCP.

 

 

How long has the new insignia been out then as I haven't seen a single one and we have a vauxhall dealer in Berwick, plenty corsas about though.

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The Ampera looks to me like a brilliant thing (now discontinued). At launch it was the only plug-in hybrid we got here - even after Toyota caught up, their plug in Pious only did about ten miles on battery, the Ampera was streets ahead.

 

Apparently the second generation Ampera (Chevy volt) is even better, but GM decided not to offer it here.

I'd forgotten about the Ampera. I've never been in one, but as a concept it's the best way to build a hybrid imho.

 

Fully electric for most of the time, then on the one time a year you want to drive to the south of France you put petrol in the generator to keep the battery topped up. All the advantages of an electric car for your daily commute and no range anxiety on longer runs.

 

I didn't know we couldn't get them here any more, either, and that strikes me as part of the problem with Vauxhall higher management - they had *one* truly modern and forward looking product, and what did they do..?

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Got a link to your book? You've sold it to me already as it sounds like a good read!

 

Here you go - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Confessions-quality-control-balls-ups-factories/dp/1532719795/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1524045873&sr=8-1&keywords=confessions+from+quality+control

 

(Apologies for derailing the thread, folks)

 

The previous comments about Opel are good. Some of us remember the Monza and Manta, and god knows GM could use some of that pizzazz right now. 

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The radio ads that finish with " Vauxhall, a British brand since 1903" piss me off somewhat more than they should.

It just emphasises that it's not anymore, ok I know GM wasn't either but that sort of didn't count.

 

Further to the Frontera plant woes, in about 1996, an acquaintance asked if I wanted a very cheap new Frontera, intrigued I went to some council lock ups in Houghton Regis near Luton. I was shown , by torchlight, 6 or 7 LWB 2.3 Intercooler Fronteras all in metallic dark red . Oh and all with the spare wheel and carrier chopped off, so they'd fit in the garage. £500 each ,delivery* miles only. I politely declined and made my excuses.

Apparentlly, this Herbert had nicked about 20 of the things, just drove them out of the compound, trouble was he'd saturated the market, I suppose at the time there weren't many write offs around to ring them. I did hear at least 2 ended up on Q plates by a bloke who got the DVLA inspector to believe an old Astra estate ballanced on some Land Rover wheels was a Vauxhall 4x4 estate !

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The radio ads that finish with " Vauxhall, a British brand since 1903" piss me off somewhat more than they should.

It just emphasises that it's not anymore, ok I know GM wasn't either but that sort of didn't count.

 

Further to the Frontera plant woes, in about 1996, an acquaintance asked if I wanted a very cheap new Frontera, intrigued I went to some council lock ups in Houghton Regis near Luton. I was shown , by torchlight, 6 or 7 LWB 2.3 Intercooler Fronteras all in metallic dark red . Oh and all with the spare wheel and carrier chopped off, so they'd fit in the garage. £500 each ,delivery* miles only. I politely declined and made my excuses.

Apparentlly, this Herbert had nicked about 20 of the things, just drove them out of the compound, trouble was he'd saturated the market, I suppose at the time there weren't many write offs around to ring them. I did hear at least 2 ended up on Q plates by a bloke who got the DVLA inspector to believe an old Astra estate ballanced on some Land Rover wheels was a Vauxhall 4x4 estate !

Just think if they were still there. Be like finding the lost Leonardo or something.

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The Ampera looks to me like a brilliant thing (now discontinued).  At launch it was the only plug-in hybrid we got here - even after Toyota caught up, their plug in Pious only did about ten miles on battery, the Ampera was streets ahead.

 

Apparently the second generation Ampera (Chevy volt) is even better, but GM decided not to offer it here.

 

I feel sorry for them - I think the Ampera appears at least as good in every area and better in some as the equivalent Toyota but no-one will buy them.

 

What may not have helped Vauxhall/GM is all the dicking around with Chevrolet (Daeoo as was) - when you keep swapping names and offering confusion about who is looking after what maybe people give up. 

Of course if you believe conspiracy theories - I will make one up. PSA deal was a long time in the setting up. GM agreed not to import the Ampera2 because PSA didn't want it in the marketplace or GM didn't want to sell it in and it's tech in the package with Vauxhall/Opel or they wanted an ongoing licencing deal. Take your pick. Its a bit like the BMW Rover sale. Keep the best bit maybe. They can still badge it Chevvy unless PSA  have got a deal from GM to stay out of Europe for a time?

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Who actually buys new Vauxhalls with their own money anyway?

 

Surely a massive proportion of them are motability and daily rental, bought by the “I’ll never buy a new car you lose thousands when you drive away” crowd at 6 months old who wonder why the gearboxes are shite after life on a rental fleet

 

Edit - I’m not one of these “motability is a free car” pricks, I just mean it’s a discounted fleet sale to the operating company

 

I saw loads of new white Mokkas with similar (English) registrations the last time I was in Scotland - can only assume one of the rental firms has a bunch at the airports

 

Me,well 6 mths old anyway as i wanted a economical,comfy way of travelling approx 250 miles per week and my Alfa 156v6 is in need of some tinkering to get it back to good shape..tbh i have never been a Vorxall fan but this one is decent enough..

 

Late 2017 Astra 1.4 turbo petrol sri for £10k (tax man will pay for most of it) which is around half of the new mrp and paying only £10k gives me some free cash to continue with my classic bike collection...

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