Vauxhall/Opel in Europe have benefited from huge investment by General Motors and also have a new boss, Karl-Thomas Neumann. With his team he has driven and spent time with every one of their cars and come to the conclusion that the problem is not the product but the image of the product.
To this end, Opel are planning 23 new cars and nine new engines over the next few years, concentrating on technology, innovations and above all quality. Look back at VW twelve years ago and of course Ford from five years ago and they have taken a similar route to growth. Vauxhall/Opel have always been strong in the Car Leasing sector and want to establish that.
Mercedes-Benz is working on a baby SUV, design cues being taken from the G-class and little bigger than a VW Polo. It may be a car that Mercedes have to make as VW ready their new Taigun SUV, a mini SUV which has already been shown in Brazil. This may be the first car released as a result of a joint venture between Renault/Nissan group and Mercedes-Benz. The next one is expected to be a Renault based on the outgoing E-Class.
Lots of road test are appearing of the new Kia Procee’d 1.6 GDi so we thought that at CarLease UK we had better borrow one and give you our views. It shares the family look front end of the Kia range, which is not a bad thing. The one we drove is the 126bhp diesel, which is expected to be the big seller. Frankly, what this car does is everything reasonably but nothing outstandingly. The engine is strong and drives well but many are more economical and cleaner. Its big enough inside and quality is fine, but its not going to scare VW or Ford.The ride is fine, but is not a Focus. To be clear though, car for car the Kia is going to undercut its rivals and where lease deals are concerned the first thing that a customer sees is the price. This car will sell.