New Insignia is changing perception of Vauxhall
When the first Saloon and Hatch models from Vauxhall’s 2009 European Car of the Year, the all new D-segment Insignia went on sale in January, the prediction was for 28,000 sales this year once the Sports Tourer estate versions were added in April.
Simon Prior, Vauxhall’s product manager for large cars said at the media launch of Insignia’s third model range, “Such has been the demand for Insignia that 15,000 UK orders were taken in the first month of sale. Now we have 23,000 sold orders in the pipeline and the 2009 sales target has been raised to 30,000 units, despite the overall downturn in the new car market."
Prior said that around 15% of Insignia orders will be for the new Sports Tourer estate versions. Five-door Hatch models take the largest share and currently account for 79% of sales.
He added that premium sector customers are now moving back to Vauxhall because of the quality and style Insignia offers and this means that 25% of sales are for the two top levels of specification. With traditional premium brand customers Vauxhall is now back in consideration.
He also said that business user-choosers and fleet customers will this year account for around 65% of Insignia sales but initial orders from retail buyers have increased and they look like accounting for 35% of overall registrations.
To date advance order show that over 71% of sales are for diesel powered models with the 160PS version of the 2.0-litre CDTi being the most popular choice over the 2.0-litre 130PS unit.
A new 1.6-litre, 180PS Turbo petrol engine has been added to the overall Insignia range to run alongside the current 1.8, 2.0T and 2.8T V6 petrol units. All engines meet the latest Euro 5 emission regulations.
Adaptive 4x4 is also an option for some Sports Tourer models as it is with Saloon and Hatch versions. Also like its Saloon and Hatch stablemates the new Sports Tourer is available with a choice of two base chassis: Sport, which is standard on all SRi models and Comfort which is standard on S, Exclusiv, SE and Elite versions.
Prices range from £17,865 up to £29,905 but the heartland sales model, likely to be a 2.0CDTi 160PS Exclusiv, costs £19,090 with a manual gearbox or £20,415 with the auto transmission option.
Prior added that in addition to customers appearing to be moving back to Vauxhall from similar sized Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz models there is also evidence that
customers are moving away from highly taxed SUV 4x4s and large MPV people carriers. They like the space the five-seat Insignia Sports Tourer offers and the load capacity which ranges from 540-litres to 1,530-litres.
As GM in the USA, Vauxhall in the UK and Opel in Germany currently put together plans to submit to their respective governments for loans to tide them over the catastrophic economic climate, the success of Insignia seems it could be a bright light at the end of a very long tunnel.