The Vauxhall Story

The Vauxhall Story


If you like cars, or even if you don’t like
cars, Vauxhall has very likely been a big part of your life. If you haven’t owned one,
you’ve probably hired one, or been driven around in one, or seen them day in day out on the
streets. And for good reason. Vauxhall has been pumping out affordable mainstream cars
for decades. But its fortunes have gone up, then down, up, then down, up, then down, and
finally up then sort of down? over the last 162 years it’s been in business! So, let’s
dig into the Vauxhall Story. (music) The Vauxhall story starts appropriately enough in Vauxhall, now a borough of Greater London.
In 1857 a guy called Alexander Wilson started “Alexander Wilson and Company” to build
steam engines and pumps. Remember, this was a time before practical internal combustion
engines, and in the 19th century steam engines were powering everything from boats, to trains,
to pumps to keep mines dry. They focused on small boats and launches,
and did OK, but finances weren’t looking too good by the 1890s. The now 57-year old
Alexander Wilson left the company in 1894 and a year later the company went bankrupt.
It was restructured and in 1897 renamed to the Vauxhall Ironworks. That same year Fred
Hodges was made head of the drawing office. Fred had an automobile passion and began enthusing
the company to make big changes to the company for the 20th century. It started with their
first petrol engine, the 5hp “Jabberwock”, which they would sell to power small boats.
Steam was so 19th century, and Vauxhall was changing with the times.
Fred believed this engine could also be used to power a car, so designed the Model 719
in 1903. The car looked like a marine engine bolted to carriage and bicycle parts, which
it was in some sense, but it was smarter under the skin. To try to make the car as light
as possible and because of his boat construction experience, Fred created the first uni-body
car. The car was improved in 1904. The engine gained
one extra horse, and the car got a reverse gear, and the dodgy tiller steering system
was abandoned in favour of a regular steering wheel. To help it sell, the car was driven
in the London to Glasgow reliability trial, although they probably didn’t stop off at
McDonalds! In those days it wasn’t a race to see how fast you could get somewhere, it
was to see if you could get there at all! With sales of these new-fangled cars starting
to take off, and with problems with the lease on their Vauxhall factory, the company looked
for new, larger premises. Luton was looking to attract new business after the decline
of the hat-making industry. They created an attractive package to lure Vauxhall Ironworks,
and cars built there were doing so well that by 1907 the company was renamed to Vauxhall
Motors. Fred Hodges had been the early visionary behind
Vauxhall’s early cars, but when he took a leave of absence a new hire, Laurence Pomeroy
took the initiative and became the powerhouse behind Vauxhall’s next cars. In those early
days of motoring it was only the very rich that would afford these expensive playthings,
and Vauxhall focused on the fast, sporty cars that they wanted. The first car Laurence made
won several trials and hill climbs and was developed into the successful A-Type. He also
produced the 1913 30-98 that was the first car guaranteed to go 100mph.
But his crowning achievement was the 1911 “Prince Henry”, after the motor trials
that were named for Prince Henry of Prussia. With the car clocking up win after win, road-going
versions were snapped up quickly. Vauxhall’s were very popular with the Russian nobility,
and Vauxhall opened a Russian sales office. But it was short-lived affair, with the decided
lack of rich Russians after the Communist revolution of 1917.
The First World War left Britain penniless, and rich people’s playthings like fast cars
weren’t really selling. With Vauxhall’s sales drying up, they looked around for a
potential suitor. Many people, me included, think General Motors must have bought Vauxhall
in the 1960s or 70s, but GM picked up Vauxhall in 1925 for $2½M! The bailout made sense
for Vauxhall, but there are many reasons why the purchase made a lot of sense for General
Motors. GM was locked in a battle for car sales with Ford, and Ford had already expanded
to the UK in 1909 and was assembling cars there in 1911. To compete with Ford, they
needed to expand to sell cars in other parts of the world. Vauxhall was known for their
high-end cars – and the Vauxhall name would give GM’s mass market cars some cachet.
With the 1929 Wall Street crash, the GM purchase likely saved Vauxhall from bankruptcy.
In the 20s and 30s small inexpensive cars were the growth market, with the Ford Model
T selling over 16½M cars around the world. It’s tempting to think Vauxhall would build
GM cars in the UK, but with smaller roads and a different customer GM let Vauxhall produce
its own cars. The first major car to come out was the 1930 Vauxhall Cadet. With Vauxhall
free to raid GM’s part bin, they fitted the first synchromesh gearbox to appear on
a British car. The Cadet was sold for the low, low price
of just £280, but by 1937 Vauxhall were selling a unibody Vauxhall 10-4 for just £168, also
offering it as the Bedford HC. By offering cars at such competitive prices they were
showing they could produce cars at scale and control costs. Vauxhall had completed its
transformation from a high-end car maker to mass producer.
But Vauxhall wasn’t the only European car company GM had their eyes on. In 1929 they
purchased Opel in Germany. Opel was a little different as it was already a mass market
car manufacturer, and in fact by 1937 they had the largest car plant in Europe.
GMs plans for European domination would be interrupted by someone else’s plans for
European domination, although it’s surprising that Opel’s German factories were churning
out civilian cars until the autumn of 1940, over a year after the war had started. Vauxhall’s
factories were given over to making helmets, rocket parts and Churchill tanks. They continued
to produce Bedford lorries and buses for the war effort at a new plant, suitably in Dunstable,
Bedfordshire. Opel was initially spared from the Nazi war
machine, likely because Hitler didn’t want to tip off an American company as to what
they were doing. But with aircraft and tank parts desperately needed by 1942, they were
pressed into service. With these plants now a part of the war effort, Allied bombers targeted
and destroyed the Opel factories. It’s ironic that American bombers were charged with destroying
an American-owned factory. After the dust cleared GM had to start from
scratch with Opel, not just because the factories were destroyed, but because some were located
in the now Communist East Germany. GM considered throwing in the towel but decided to continue
production. It would take until December 1947 until car production began again.
After the war Vauxhall restarted production of the 10-4, but middle-class Britain just
didn’t really have the cash. The company found itself selling larger and more expensive
cars to those that could afford them, and the Government encouraged British companies
to export to help restart the struggling economy. But Vauxhall’s like the 10-4 would start
to be built in other parts of the world such as Indonesia.
With the improving British economy, in 1948 Vauxhall released two new models to capitalise
on this growth – the large Vauxhall Velox and medium Vauxhall Wyvern. Both did well,
selling in their hundreds of thousands, and by 1953 Vauxhall was producing 100,000 cars
a year. They offered a bit of futuristic American glamour in a dowdy, austere post-war Britain.
But respectable middle-class Britain bought them in their droves.
In the 1950s the large Velox was replaced by the Vauxhall Cresta, with the medium Wyvern
being replaced by the Victor. The Cresta would become the person transport of the Queen herself,
but it took Americana to the next level, with fins at the rear, curved glass and oodles
of chrome. But it was the Vauxhall Victor that really took off, selling 1.3M. “The stylish rear end. With the exhaust pipe on the
Super discharging through the bumper.” “Door locks. At both sides of the car.” “The flashing turn indicators, way up above the taillights.” “A handsome sensible instrument panel,
right beneath the driver’s eye.” “A good solid handbrake, with a high-speed release.” “A 5-position main switch.
You use the key only to unlock the switch.” “After that the switch itself is turned
to put on the auxiliary circuit.” “The main ignition circuit, and to start the engine.” Vauxhall would continually update the styling of both cars, keeping up with the latest fashionable
styling. By the end of the 1950s cheap and cheerful
cars like the Morris Minor, Ford Anglia and Austin Mini were becoming affordable to nearly
everyone. Vauxhall realised they needed a small car to compete, so designed the Vauxhall
Viva. For the first time they would work with Opel, producing a common floorpan that would
be used for both the Viva and the Opel Kadett. But they didn’t make it easy on themselves!
Opel used metric and Vauxhall imperial measurements through the entire process.
The Luton plant had expanded and expanded since 1905, but with the company expecting
big things from the new Viva, they realised they needed a new factory. It was built at
Ellesmere Port, across the Mersey from the Triumph Speke plant near Liverpool. The Viva
was a success, selling over 1½M cars, and it was also popular around the world, becoming
a top-seller in Canada as the Envoy Epic. Vauxhall tried its hand at motorsports in
the late 60s and early 70s with the 2.0L Viva GT and Firenza having some success, but the
road-going Firenza was a beast with a top speed of 120mph and a 0-60 time of 8 seconds.
The 50s and 60s were a boom time for many car manufacturers, and Vauxhall was one of
them. But as the 60s turned in the 70s Vauxhall’s fate wasn’t looking too good. Ford’s complete
and compelling range was overshadowing the Viva, Cresta and Victor. And Vauxhall’s
were developing a reputation for being rust-prone and unreliable. By the early 70’s Vauxhall’s
UK market share was down to 7½% and GM were thinking of closing the company. Workers were
enduring 3-day working weeks, and empty production lines made for low morale.
But Vauxhall kept trying new things to return to success. The first was better corrosion
protection. The second was saving development money by using GM and Opel vehicles. The 1975
Vauxhall Chevette was based on the GM T-Car platform that was used by 36 other vehicles
around the world. And Vauxhall’s new family car would be the 1975 Vauxhall Cavalier, a
rebadged Opel Ascona that was built on GM’s worldwide J Platform that would be used for
the American Chevrolet Cavalier. But it would take until the 1980s until Vauxhall
would once again become a top seller. The improved mk2 Cavalier was joined by the supermini Vauxhall
Nova and hatchback Astra, producing a solid line-up that could be sold to fleets alongside
their luxury Carlton and Senator. Vauxhall even added the sporty Calibra to the mix in
1989. But although Vauxhall was riding high, it
was a shadow of its former self. Design was being done by Opel in Germany, with Vauxhall
little more than marketing and manufacturing, and it’s telling that Vauxhall’s corporate
HQ were moved into the old design and testing building.
Ford and Vauxhall were locked in a fleet battle into the 1990s. Company cars were popular
because they were an untaxed employee benefit. Fleet sales slowed when the tax loophole was
closed, and the remaining fleet sales were going to more prestige cars like the BMW 3-series.
Vauxhall had to retreat from the luxury car market as German luxury car makers with their
fancy badges took sales, leaving Vauxhall with the low margin small and medium car sector.
But small and medium car sales were still good, with the Cavalier being the 1993 number
1 selling car in the UK. Vauxhall launched an “all-terrain vehicle”
as it was called at the time, the Frontera, in 1991. Yes, it was a rebadged Isuzu MU,
but it was built in the UK and used Vauxhall / Opel engines. It would be joined by the
larger rebadged Isuzu Trooper as the Vauxhall Monterey in 1994.
But you shouldn’t underestimate the power of Jeremy Clarkson’s infamous review of
the Vauxhall Vectra in 1996. The car was the follow-up to the Cavalier, and his review
was scathing attack on its blandness, with people singing “I am bored” in the background.
One rep tellingly says in the review “I think the back looks like the BMW”. So,
the best thing he could say was that the car was a bit like a car he’d rather have. The
review was rather unfair but was a great story to tell down the pub, and Vauxhall’s image
soon became one of dependable but dull cars. The supermini Nova was now the Corsa. With
“No va” being Spanish for “doesn’t go”, the Spanish workers must have had a
quiet chuckle to themselves while sticking the badges on the back.
By the late 1990s there was a clear demand for people carriers or MPVs. Vauxhall tested
the water with the Sintra, based on the Chevy Venture U-body platform that would be used
for the ill-fated Pontiac Aztek. Apparently, Opel and Vauxhall left the naming of this
car up to a computer, which didn’t seem to be the wisest idea especially as it came
out with the name “Sintra”! After scathing reviews and being ranked J.D. Power’s least
satisfying car to own, the car was quietly retired. It was clear that GM were trying
to build one car for the whole world and satisfying no one in the process. And with GM having
money problems, new Vauxhalls were going to be hard to finance.
The smaller 1999 Zafira was a much more pleasant MPV and was more popular, with innovative
foldable rear seating. It was joined in 2003 by the even smaller Meriva. And Vauxhall tried
the innovative Signum large car that sat a little higher to provide bags of internal
room. But when I say Vauxhall made these cars, by now it was Opel making the cars and slapping
a Vauxhall badge on the back. And Vauxhall didn’t just rebadge Opels.
Vauxhall sold the Lotus-based VX220, but why buy a Vauxhall sports car when you could buy
the cooler Lotus version? The Agila was a rebadged Suzuki Wagon R+. The Monaro was a
rebadged Holden from Australia, as was the VXR8. You can see a pattern forming here…
Vauxhall could hardly be called a British car manufacturer when it sold cars designed
and manufactured in other countries. But while vans continued to be produced, Luton car production
ceased entirely in 2002. Vauxhall and Opel concentrated on their core
line of Corsa and Astra cars which were still top sellers. And Vauxhall were still selling
more cars in the UK than everyone but Ford. With crossovers becoming popular, Vauxhall
launch the Antara in 2006 along with the Mokka in 2012 and Crossland X in 2017.
Parent General Motors filed for bankruptcy in 2009, selling off its Saab business. Vauxhall
and Opel were going to be sold to Canadian “Magna International”, but GM changed
their minds as they felt Vauxhall and Opel were integral to their recovery.
Vauxhall continued to sell well into the 2010’s, but not spectacularly. It slipped from the
number two UK car marque to number three behind Volkswagen, and its share of the car market
dropped from 14% in 2008 to less than 8% in 2018. And finances weren’t looking too good
either. Vauxhall Opel lost over $18B between 1997 and 2017. In 2016 alone they were losing
£1M every working day. The company was using 9 different platforms across its vehicle range
when other companies were saving money by developing just 2 or 3. And with a lack of
finances the whole hybrid and electric car trend passed Vauxhall by, with the Ampera
E-Rev being a rare highlight, although it was just a rebadged GM Chevvy Volt.
PSA own Peugeot and Citroen, and they’d gobbled up Chrysler’s European arm in 1979.
In 2017 they did the same to GM’s European arm, buying Vauxhall Opel for $2.3B, making
PSA the second largest car manufacturer in Europe behind Volkswagen.
They’ve plans to rationalise the company. 9 platforms will be whittled down to just
2, and with PSA paying royalties on every GM platform that goes out the factory door,
there’s an incentive to get it done fast. The new Corsa used a GM platform and was about
to be released when PSA bought the company. They rushed to switch it to a PSA platform,
but it still took 2 years to release the new car.
Since 2017 PSA have been reluctant to invest in UK factories with the uncertainty around
Brexit. In 1957 there were 22,000 people working at Vauxhall, but in 2019 there were just 3,000.
Automation has allowed for fewer workers with higher output, but it shows that the car industry
just isn’t the British jobs powerhouse it once was.
So just what is a British car company, and if Vauxhall isn’t British then when did
it stop being British? When GM purchased it in 1925? When Vauxhall car design ended in
the 70s and 80s? When PSA bought it in 2017? And is PSA really a French company, when it’s
owned by shareholders around the world, and has British factories and German design houses
staffed by Italians and Danes. It’s natural to be patriotic about your country, but with
car companies it’s becoming increasingly irrelevant.
Vauxhall has a varied history, from steam engine maker 162 years ago to luxury sports
car maker, to a canny and innovative producer of inexpensive cars, to tank and busses during
World War 2, to mass-producing family cars. Time will tell how it fares in the new PSA
era! To get early advert free access to new videos,
or to appear in the credits, please consider supporting me using the Patreon link below
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Thanks for watching and see you in the next video!

About the Author: Michael Flood

100 Comments

  1. One of your best yet. You’ve got a real skill in being able to cover everything – in detail – in the calmest and most coherent manner. Great stuff!

  2. The first cars I can remember would be PA Crestas and Veloxes. They looked like cars in the American programmes and films even though by the early 70s many were rusty. They capture a mood of optimism which soon evaporated. A new Insignia is light years away in many ways but would it evoke any emotion? Unlikely. Thanks for the history of an important part of the British motoring landscape.

  3. I've only owned two Vauxhall's, the first was the mid-70's 2300 Victor and the second (which I loved) was the 2.6 Carlton CDXi. Happy memories…. I wish I still had that Carlton. I could never afford the more luxurious 3.0 Senator (which became a favourite of police forces everywhere). The 3.0 GSi and the legendary Lotus Carlton were completely out of my price bracket. Then and now!!!

  4. Most Opel cars were sold in Brazil as GM since the 1960s: Opala (Rekord), Chevette (Kadett), Monza (Ascona, a major hit here), late 1980s Astra (as Kadett with also a very ugly station wagon variant called Ipanema) Omega (Carlton),.early 1990s Astra, Vectra and Calibra as imports, 1994 Corsa (2 door, 4 doors, station wagon, sedan and pick-up variants), 1997 Vectra (a huge hit here)… Too much cars, basically all Gm cars sold here were Opel ones with GM badge. Nowadays they sell the cars from the Korean division as GM here.

  5. same today , GM has no idea and running out of countries screw over. Stupid Obama should have never bailed them out .

  6. My grandfather was chased up the Toowoomba range, with my grandmother hanging out of the backseat covering up the number plate of his racing Vauxhall, with her sun hat, so the cop chasing them couldn't see it, they had been married for five hours,this was back in the early twenties,🤣

  7. Vauxhall Cresta won the 1st Aussie long distance touring car race in 1960.
    https://www.shannons.com.au/club/news/vauxhall-pa-veloxcresta-why-holden-did-not-win-australias-first-great-race/

  8. I think Vauxhall went downhill after the Cavalier/Vectra B personally. Shoddy quality and cheap finish. Would never own a modern Vauxhall now

  9. Wheres the Viva magnums 1.3 ltr and 1.8 or 2.0 ltr the Vitese was a sporty 2 door Magnum. Twin headlights and a cool as dash and gauges. mine was a 1.3 gutless piece of shit. looked nice with mags and all but needed a way bigger motor . The best cars GM made for NZ were the MIGHTY Holdens. yeeaahh.

  10. I would not touch a Vauxhall with a barge pole. Ugly, & maybe the most unreliable vehicles ever made, I've never known a single person with a Vauxhall to be happy. Oh & the classic problems with their check engine lights that even Vauxhall can't turn off & that's been going on for 15 years.

  11. GM got their destroyed factories in Germany rebuilt after the war, paid for by the allies. US taxpayers paid for the bombs to destroy them, then paid to rebuild them while GM were building Vauxhalls for the British, they were building Opel trucks for the Germans, great business sense, make money off both sides in a war, don't let morality get in the way.

  12. Thank you for this Video, but I think you lost one major point at the long downfall of Vauxhall as an indipendent car manufacturer.
    In 1973 the UK joined the European Union. From this day on both Vauxhall and Ford GB operated in the same market as their west-german counterparts. While Ford merged their two subidaries together, GM gave up on Vauxhall as an indipendent manufacturer on the long term in favor of Opel who was doing much better in the early 70s. In return Opel stopped the production of their Blitz trucks in 1975 and Bedford became GM's european subsidary for commercial vehicles.

    Also the rear wheel drive Mk1 Cavallier/Ascona B/Manta B wasn't based on the fwd GM J platform. As I was told the J platform was originally designed by Opel to produce the entirely new fwd Ascona C/Mk2 Cavallier alongside the old rwd Manta B (wich it had nothing incommon with) on the very same production lines at their Bochum and Antwerp plants. Opel god rid of this gap-filler-platform as soon as they repaced both models with the new GM2900-based Vectra/Calibra in the late 80s, while some American subidaries sticked with the J-body a little longer.

  13. Owned many cars and occasionally I get suckered into getting a vauxhall after saying never again time and again.
    First vauxhall. A vauxhall calibra. Head gasket went after week ownership.
    Second vauxhall some 7 yrs later. A vectra B… Cam belt went after two weeks ownership.
    Third was a corsa c. Now that was OK. 3 yrs before it gave up.
    Then a astra sxi. Shit on fuel. Used oil like I've never known. I run that in the scrappers after 6 months I hated it. Didn't have the heart to trade or sell it. Couldn't do it to somebody. I've once again said nevet again but we see. I like the smoothness of a vauxhall. Although always find the seats hard.

  14. you really sped past the Victor..and the differences as uniqueness of what they brought to the market..and the differences between the series one and 2. too bad. here in Canada the victor was sold through the Pontiac high performance decision because it was far..and since on first gear. the deluxe not going sold in the us. nit sure of the unit is aus wre called. with 3 on the tree they were easy cars to drive especially with the bucket seats..

  15. I new they went back along time but not that far.I bet the founder,s got a bit if history all of his own.
    Great vid.
    ps I really liked the vx.

  16. The unions bought down the british automobile- and motorcycleindustry were the unions w. bad qualitycontrol and there through losing the reputation.

  17. 8:56….it turns out the modern trend for putting the exhaust tips in the bumpers isn't as new as we all thought! haha
    Though unlike a lot of the modern cars, those ones aren't fake! The "New PSA era" will be interesting indeed to observe! But then looking at the spectacular decline in Peugeot sales over the last 20 years, and the ever increasing obsession with (German) brand image and "premium" everything, one has to wonder if PSA are really capable of giving Vauxhall the shot in the arm it clearly needs.

  18. Those mid to late 1950's Vauxhall victors and Velox (the down market version of the cresta all had severe tin worm problems. It was not unusual to find one at two to three years old with filler hiding the corrosion in the bodywork. I good friend of mine back then had a 3 yr old Victor and I'd swear 30% of the body was filler. I think Vauxhall continued to have corrosion problems until well into the 1970's. Yes many cars in the 1950's had severe corrosion problems due to the poor quality steel that had been previously used in war production, but Vauxhall in particular stood out way above other British main stream vehicle producers

  19. Maybe when their cars caught on fire and still are they would rather ignore it rather than fix it hoping it will just go away is not a solution.

  20. Firstly, the Lotus wasn't cooler than the VX220. In both iterations of the VX220 and the VX220 Turbo, the Vauxhall variants were quicker than the Lotus versions with the Vauxhall/Opel engines.

    Secondly, I "love" this Nova "doesn't go" story but its bollocks.

    The Nova was only ever badged as Nova in the UK. Across the rest of Europe, it was sold and badged as the Corsa.
    To put it bluntly, no Spaniard EVER was offered a Nova, only Corsa.

    This stupid old wives tale would be more amusing if it wasn't for the fact that GM also sold the Chevrolet Nova in the US, and yet we don't hear this daft old wives tale applied to that car.

    A shame then that you've regurgitated it for this video. Sigh

    And as far as i'm aware, most of the losses incurred are by Opel not Vauxhall

    Still, at least you got the sound issues with your voice fixed, so theres a plus!

  21. 2019 and and the new Corsa looks very desirable and this is coming from someone who is not even looking to buy in that segment.

  22. Got to agree with SouthernSkies below. General Motors thoroughly cocked up the Vauxhall, the Holden (Australia) Saab and any other unfortunate vehicle it got its grubby claws into. The moral? Avoid anything GM touches…it's bound to be a lemon…..

  23. I like the old Vectra's looks, i'd go as far to say as the newer face lifted model looked great. The insignia in comparison looked awful, i'd consider buying Vauxhalls if they were made in the UK but as it stands there's no point

  24. I have had a number of Astras, a Corsa and a Zafira in my time and I have never once been let down by any of them nor have I had much go wrong aside from general maintenance. It seems a shame they have been sold to PSA, we are just going to end up with 3-4 of the same car on the market with different styling – DS, Pug, Citroen, Vauxhall!

  25. The earliest memories I have of my father's car in the 1960s, was of a Vauxhall Velox. His dad owned a Victor. They were both happy with their cars, and I distinctly remember when dad came home in the new model Victor around 1970.

    Boy did he complain about that later. "Vauxhall used to make good cars!" Eventually, he got an Audi 80, and he stuck with Audi until last year. His dad bought an old VW beetle which I inherited.

  26. IMHO the Mk 3 Cavalier is probably the pinnacle of auto engineering. Solid, reliable, comfortable. Unbelievably durable – our firm had an H Reg SRi that did 250,000 miles on the same clutch and the same engine. We had numerous others and none ever gave a second of trouble, while carrying people and goods all over Europe in comfort, speed and relatively great economy. I bought a very high mileage M reg V6 and it was a wonderful car. Then Vauxhall replaced the Cavalier with the catastrophically unreliable Vectra, and it all went downhill from there.

  27. i have a 2017 1.6.SRI with 12,671 miles on the clock can't be driven due to sever knocking sound comming from the right front suspension area, been in twice but they don't know what the issue is. Car returned to me unfixed. car still under warrenty. vauxhall don't care once they get your cash.

  28. They only make one car worth buying at the moment the Insignia which is really underrated. The rest of the range is garbage.

  29. Vauxhall is 100% a rebadged Opel for the last what, 30-40 years? I never heard from it till recently even. So what happens after Brexit..?

  30. Not very good on that crucial period from 1949 to the early 1970s – when for whatever reason Vauxhall seemed to be vulnerable to the worst excesses of Detroit thinking combined with slipshod build quality. Why was it that Vauxhall acquired such a terrible reputation for rust, while Opel, working within similar constraints, didn't? Of course it's true that in the early 1970s the trade unions were digging their own graves, but that's a different story. The Vauxpedia website is brilliant in many ways, but doesn't really answer that question.

  31. Good vid. Ive had 4 insignias in a row. this video gave me the feeling that vauxhall quality will now go downhill while maintenance costs will rise.

  32. Big fan of your channel, but no mention of the ill-advised scientist Griff Rhys Jones in his pants?! That didn't do much for their credibility either!

  33. Vauxhall has no future as a brand. If you look at PSA they have a culture of internal competition for their factories. In order to be profitable one of their car factories has to operate in excess of 75% capacity and most of them exceed that with some operating at 120% capacity. Vauxhall-Opel had no such culture and so most of their factories have been chronically inefficient with most at less than 70%. If Elsemere port survives it will only be to assemble the PSA cars for the UK market after Brexit and as a logistics hub.

  34. Never owned a Vauxhall, but i think we had an Astra as a rental once, it was alright, the controls for lights etc were bit different.

  35. I've currently got a vectra 1.8 sri. I always swore I would never buy one. My previous car was a ford mondeo titanium 2.0l 140 bhp from Arnold Rip Off Clark. 4 years of finance and a car that just went from one problem to another. Decided to get rid and the guy that sold me the vectra gave me £200 scrap value for the mondeo. Best move I ever made. Cheap as chips and has never missed a beat. Same bhp and just as good to drive. Love my vectra.

  36. Here’s an interesting tidbit regarding GM & Ford in the 1920s; While Henry Ford was being stubborn about his revolutionary but dated Ford Model T, Harley Earl had joined GM, and GM started to put out more stylish cars, which allowed them to do really well. Adding to this, Alfred P. Sloan wanted a car for everyone, from the blue collar workers to the very wealthy.

    Henry Ford eventually relented and replaced the Model T with the Model A, and it was a very successful model.

  37. in the late 1970's Opel sent a Opel Senator to Australia for testing , the car was going to be re badged as a Holden , but while testing in Australia's rough outback roads the car broke in half ,

  38. I am dissapointed that you miss out information on Vauxhalls great 80's cars. Especially the Nova GTE, Astra GTE and Cavalier SRI 130. My brother had two Cavaliers. They were quick and great cars. You said really nothing about each of these cars. Despite what Clarkson or anyone in the general populous said, if you ownes one of the sporty Nova, Astra or Cavalier, they were in fact great cars and were just as reliable as any other Ford of the age.

  39. Owned all quick cavaliers,Sri,Gsi and 4×4 turbo. Also a couple of Omega 3.0 mv6. All great cars. Then they brought out the vectra. That's when I went to Volvo.

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