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New Vauxhall Boss looks to address image problems
March 25, 2013
The new boss of Vauxhall/Opel Karl-Thomas Neumann has said that improving the image of the brand is definitley the key to his strategy to turning the fortunes of the company around. Prior to Neumann's appointment, Opel had embarked on a 10 year recovery plan that was called Drive 2022. This involved refinancing, restructuring and a targeted return to profitability by mid decade, including a rather ambitious roll out of brand new cars and engines. Along with this, the former Volkswagens' Chinese operations President has also outlined his priorities for trying to help the company turnaround. 

After driving the current product line up of Opel, including brand new vehicles like the Cascada, Mokka and the Adam, Neumann explained that he doesn't believe it is the vehicles that are the problem. Rather the opposite actually, the company has an extremely strong product portfolio and has had for many years. He went on to say that still however people do not buy enough of them and that has a lot to do with the Opel brand and also with the bad news that was continuously generating. 

Neumann also said that repositioning the brand would definitely involve the continuation of trying to push into new segments and the building of emotional and innovative products. As part of Drive 2022, Opel are planning to produce 23 new cars and 9 new engines. He went on to explain that he believes there is a lot he can build on, Opel is a mainstream manufacturer and is fully capable of moving into new segments and even creating them. The Cascada is a brilliant example. If the brand could shine like it did 10 or 15 years previously, then with the product, then there would be no worries for the future, regardless of how difficult the market was proving. He added that two more of his priorities were cutting the costs in line with Drive 2022 and also changing the culture of Opel to make it proud of the brand and the products that are produced. 
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