Vauxhall Motors is one of the oldest established vehicle production and distribution company. It is a subsidiary of the German company Opel Automobile GmbH since 1st August, 2017. Vauxhall deals in the passenger cars and light commercial vehicles under the Vauxhall marque In the past it has also sold buses and trucks under the Bedford brand. Also, Vauxhall has been the second-largest-selling car brand in the UK for more than two decades. Vauxhall founded as a pump and marine engine manufacturer in 1857.
1857; 160 years ago
Luton, Bedfordshire, England
In 1863, Andrew Betts Brown began producing travelling cranes. It was he who named it Vauxhall Iron Works. Vauxhall began manufacturing car in the year 1903. In 1925, General Motors acquired the vauxhall. In 1930, Bedford Vehicles established as a subsidiary of Vauxhall to manufacture commercial vehicles. Since 1980, Vauxhall products have largely identical to those of Opel, GM’s former German subsidiary, and most models principally engineered in Rüsselsheim, Germany.
Former Vauxhall production of cars include the Viva, Victor, Chevette and Cavalier. Vauxhall car range includes the Adam- a city car, Viva- a city car, Astra- a small family car, Cascada- a convertible, Corsa- a supermini, Insignia- a large family car, Crossland X- a subcompact SUV, Mokka- a subcompact SUV, and Zafira Tourer- a large MPV. Vauxhall sells high-performance versions of some of its models under the VXR sub-brand.
1857 To 1925 :
A marine engineer, Alexander Wilson founded the Vauxhall in 1857. Originally, the company named as the Alex Wilson and Company and later in 1897 it became Vauxhall Iron Works, at that time the company built the marine engines. In the year 1903, the company introduced it first car with the five-horsepower single-cylinder model steered using a tiller, with two forward gears and no reverse gear. In 1905, the company moved the majority of its production to Luton to expand the company further. Much of Vauxhall’s success during the early years of Vauxhall Motors was attributable to Laurence Pomeroy. Pomeroy’s first design, the Y-Type Y1, had outstanding success at the 1908 RAC and Scottish 2000 Mile Reliability Trials – showing excellent hill climbing ability with an aggregate of 37 seconds less time in
the hill climbs than any other car in its class. The Vauxhall was so far ahead of all other cars of any class that the driver could relax, accomplishing the 200 miles (320 km) at an average speed of 46 mph (74 km/h), when the car was capable of 55 mph (89 km/h). The Y-Type so successful that it was decided to put the car into production as the A09 car.
1925 To 1945 :
General Motors acquired the Vauxhall on 16 November 1925. The company’s image and target market were gently but firmly changed over the next five and more years, marked particularly by the introduction in late 1930 of the low-cost two-litre Vauxhall Cadet and the next year the first Bedford truck, which was Chevrolet based. As the first significant post-acquisition passenger car, the Cadet, initially retailing at £280, is generally regarded as demonstrating Vauxhall’s newly acquired interest and expertise in controlling production costs. As the first significant post-acquisition passenger car, the Cadet, initially retailing at £280, is generally regarded as demonstrating Vauxhall’s newly acquired interest and expertise in controlling production costs.
1945 To 1970 :
After the Second World War, Vauxhall models were more mass-market than pre-war products, helping to drive an expansion of the company. In 1963 production of the Vauxhall Viva small family car commenced, with the new car being aimed at the likes of the Ford Anglia and Morris Minor. The German version of the car was sold as the Opel Kadett. In 1966, Vauxhall’s Slant Four went into production, it was the first production overhead camshaft inline-four engine to use a rubber timing belt. During the 1960s, Vauxhall acquired a reputation for making rust-prone models. In 1967 Vauxhall became a Royal Warrant Holder: Motor Vehicle Manufacturers to HM The Queen.
1970 To 1990 :
In 1970, Vauxhall introduced the HC Viva which went on to become Vauxhall’s best-selling car of the decade. It featured among the best 10 selling cars in Britain each year until after 1976. In 1973, the Vauxhall Firenza “Droopsnoot” coupe unveiled at the Earls Court Motor Show, introducing the public to Vauxhall’s new aerodynamic look for all of its subsequent 1970s models. From 1975, Vauxhall’s sales began to increase when they launched the Chevette and Cavalier.
Chevette is a small three-door hatchback. Chevette was the first car of its kind to be built in Britain. Cavalier is a stylish four-door saloon designed to compete head-to-head with the all-conquering Ford Cortina. The introduction of the Opel-based Vauxhalls marked a significant improvement in both the design and build quality of Vauxhall cars, which were now considered strong rivals to their Ford competitors.
In 1978, Vauxhall launched the all-new Carlton saloon and wagon, through this Vauxhall strengthened its position in the executive car market. Carlton was a facelifted version of the German-built Opel Rekord. In 1984 the aerodynamically styled Vauxhall Astra Mk2 built at the Ellesmere Port Plant became the first Vauxhall car to elected European Car of the Year. In 1986, Vauxhall launched the Belmont, a saloon version of the Astra. By 1990, Vauxhall was preparing to launch the MK3 Astra, as well as its first ever 4X4 off-road vehicle, while a replacement for the Nova was also in development.
1990 To 2000 :
In 1991, the third generation Vauxhall Astra went on sale nd the saloon version badged Astra rather than Belmont. Vauxhall joined forces with Isuzu to produce the Frontera which is a four-wheel drive off-roader available in short and long-wheelbase versions. In 1994 GM ceased production of Bedford Vehicles because their profits were decreasing over time. The last “true” Bedford light commercials – the Bedford HA and Bedford CF panel vans replaced by licence-built versions of Isuzu and Suzuki vans such as the Midi and Rascal. After 20 years of Cavalier nameplate it axed in 1995.
In 1996, Vauxhall launched Sintra, a large MPV. In 1999, the seven-seater compact MPV Zafira, based on the Astra chassis went on sale, although it continued to sell in the rest of Europe as an Opel. Nevertheless, Vauxhall competing strongly in the sales charts, and by 1999 closer to Ford in terms of sales figures than it had in years.
2000 To 2010 :
In 2000, Vauxhall entered in the sports car market with the Lotus-based VX220 roadster. Again, it entered in the coupe market with the Astra Coupe. In 2000, new Agila city car introduced by the Vauxhall. In 2002, the all-new Vectra went on sale and on the othe side a large hatchback badged as the Signum, which arrived the following year. Also, in 2003, Vauxhall launched the Meriva mini-MPV and the production of the Vauxhall Omega ended.
In 2006, the third generation of the Vauxhall Corsa went on sale, after having its world premier launch at the 2006 British International Motor Show at ExCeL London. Also, in 2007 Vauxhall’s new 4×4, the Vauxhall Antara, released in July. Also, Vauxhall’s powerful VXR8 that came with 306 kilowatts (416 PS; 410 bhp) also introduced. The Vauxhall Insignia launched at the 2008 British International Motor Show at ExCeL London, replacing the Vectra and won another “European Car of the Year”.
2010 To Present :
In 2010, the new Vauxhall Movano launched, is an upper-medium size van. The Ampera E-Rev was short for extended range electric vehicle which went on sale in the UK in 2011 with a 16 kWh, 400 lb (180 kg) lithium-ion battery pack that delivers 40 miles (64 km) of motoring and a 1.4-litre petrol engine that extends the car’s range to 350 miles (560 km). In 2012, at the Paris Motor Show the Vauxhall Adam city car launched and sale started in the early 2013.
Also, the new Vauxhall Mokka compact SUV launched in 2012 at the Geneva Motor Show. In May 2012, GM announced plans to move much of the production of Astra vehicles from mainland Europe to the UK. HydroGen4 the successor of the fuel cell vehicle Opel HydroGen3, developed by General Motors/Opel and presented in 2007 at the IAA in Frankfurt and expected to hit the market in 2016.