Bill Parfitt, Vauxhall’s new managing director, who also has sales and marketing responsibility for Saab and Chevrolet in the UK and Ireland, believes Chevrolet is his biggest challenge.
“We need to get Chevrolet to where it needs to be. The performance has been disappointing,” he says. “The good news is that the product is very good and there is more to come, including diesels.”
GM has just signed off a plan that will help Chevrolet “properly connect the brand to the product”, says Parfitt, although he would not go into further detail. What is clear is that Chevrolet will have a much higher profile in the national media, including a TV ad campaign that will help to pull customers into the showroom. Parfitt calls it a “heavyweight” approach, which is part of a three-year plan.
He is also keen to increase dealer coverage and expects to fill eight open points by the end of the year, taking the network to 95 dealerships. “The network is not in the best of health and dealers are not making sufficient returns. We have support programmes in place to help them to improve margins,” says Parfitt.
And he adds: “We want leadership in the value sector.”