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Vauxhall to extend programme

Vauxhall is considering making permanent its ‘Million Miles’ extended retail test drive programme, which helped capture market leadership in April and raised public perceptions of the brand and its products.

Alain Visser, head of Vauxhall and Opel marketing, says: “We are currently evaluating whether or not to make it a permanent feature. It could be applied as a means of marketing particular products.”

He adds: “It would be stupid to start it, then stop it and not take ownership of the concept. Not enough people get up in the morning and think: ‘God, I would like to drive a Vauxhall today’. This has helped to change that perception.”

The main targets in the current campaign, running for three months until the end of this month, are the Astra Sport Hatch and Breeze retail special editions (Astra, Corsa, Meriva, Zafira, Vectra).

New mainstream models, including the facelifted Vectra due this September, could be targeted together with niche models like the upcoming Frontera replacement.

The Million Miles initiative, which has absorbed half of Vauxhall’s marketing budget for the second quarter of this year, helped generate 17,395 test drives in April, 23% up on last year, with 63% of those drivers owning potential conquest brand vehicles.

Vauxhall expects 54,000 motorists to take part in the UK and it has registered 2,300 additional demonstrators for the programme.

Retailers have discretion on how to operate the system, which offers a maximum three-day, 500-mile appraisal, with some limiting the offer to Astra models. They can also restrict the period and mileage allowance.

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