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Vauxhall stays faithful to the Vectra name

The all-new upper medium sector Vauxhall, due to enter showrooms next spring, will be called Vectra, the manufacturer admitted this week. Following discussions across Europe, General Motors chiefs have decided to retain the Vectra name in all markets.

GM had traditionally badged its upper medium car Vectra on the Continent, but called it Cavalier in the UK until October 1995 when it adopted the Vectra name. The first UK Vectra, however, received heavy criticism from some sectors of the motoring press and Vauxhall admitted to 'some quality issues'.

This week Vauxhall sales operations manager Keith Michaels said: "From a PR viewpoint the car did not get the best of starts but it has steadily improved and has had a good sales record in the UK market."

Against that background Vauxhall had considered dropping the Vectra name and adopting 'Epsilon' - the internal codename for the new car. But, Michaels said: "Drivers like the car and it has continued to sell in very good numbers in the UK market and particularly in the fleet sector."

While official pictures of the new Vectra have yet to be released, it is known to be radically different to the current car. While details of the new model remain a closely-guarded secret, it will feature some new engines, although the recently introduced 2.2-litre petrol engine will be retained.

Qualitative focus groups and some clinics have already been undertaken with fleet customers on the new model, which will be produced at Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port plant and Opel's Russelsheim factory.

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