Two songs from classical/dance violin/cello crossover act Bond and a fleeting ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ welcome from TV presenter Kate Thornton heralded the press reveal of the new Vauxhall Insignia prior to the motor show in London today.
But before all that, the world’s press had a tourist trip on an old London Routemaster bus with decidedly dodgy commentary. We heard more about the congestion charge and price of car parking (£4 per hour, apparently) than we did Tower Bridge or St Paul’s Cathedral.
Now, considering this commentary was to a bunch of motoring hacks, the following quote was possibly ill-advised: “With the congestion charge, fuel prices and parking costs, private motoring in London is very unwise; it’s far better to take public transport.”
Perhaps he’s right, but his view sat uncomfortably at an event heralding the launch of a new family car. An event that spies claim cost £1 million.
The Insignia is arguably Vauxhall’s most important model for a long time – perhaps since the old Cavalier. Here’s Alain Visser from General Motors Europe: “Insignia is an important step in the rejuvenation of the Vauxhall brand. It’s a new name for new ambition and a new era.”
No surprise he’s GME’s chief marketing officer, but the sentiment is fair enough. GM’s gone for a new name because it believes – and hopes – that this car is a generation away from the staid Vectra. Even Jeremy Clarkson, the Vectra-baiting BBC Top Gear presenter thinks the Insignia is a good looking car.
You can find out what AM thinks when we drive it later in the year.