Vauxhall History

Vauxhall Logo

Vauxhall Motors Limited[7][note 2] (/ˈvɒksɔːl/) is a British car brand, which is a fully owned subsidiary of German car manufacturer Opel, which in turn is owned by Groupe PSA of France (parent of Peugeot, Citroën and DS). Vauxhall's vehicle lineup is identical to that of its parent, Opel, but the Vauxhall brand is exclusively used in the United Kingdom and Isle of Man. Vauxhall is one of the oldest established vehicle manufacturers and distribution companies in the United Kingdom. Its headquarters are in Park Town, Luton, Bedfordshire, England.

Vauxhall sells passenger cars and light commercial vehicles under the Vauxhall marque; and used to sell vans, buses and trucks under the Bedford Vehicles brand. Vauxhall has been the second-largest-selling car brand in the UK for more than two decades.[8][9]

Vauxhall was founded by Alexander Wilson in 1857 as a pump and marine engine manufacturer. It was bought in 1863 by Andrew Betts Brown who began producing travelling cranes. It was he who named it Vauxhall Iron Works.[10] It began manufacturing cars in 1903. It was acquired by American automaker General Motors (GM) in 1925.[8] Bedford Vehicles was established as a subsidiary of Vauxhall in 1930 to manufacture commercial vehicles.

Having been a luxury car brand before the Second World War, after the war Vauxhall became increasingly mass-market. Since 1980, Vauxhall products have been largely identical to those of Opel, and most models are principally engineered in Rüsselsheim, Germany.[11] During the 1980s the Vauxhall brand was withdrawn from sale in all countries apart from the UK, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man. At various times during its history, Vauxhall has been active in motorsports, including rallying and the British Touring Car Championship. After 92 years under GM's helm, Vauxhall was sold to Groupe PSA in 2017.[12]

Vauxhall has major manufacturing facilities in Luton (commercial vehicles, IBC Vehicles) and Ellesmere Port, UK (passenger cars). The Luton plant employs around 900 staff and has a capacity of approximately 100,000 units.[13] The Ellesmere Port plant currently employs around 1,880 staff and has a theoretical (three-shift) capacity of approximately 187,000 units.[13] Vehicles manufactured in Opel factories in Germany, Spain and Poland and sold in the UK are re-branded as Vauxhall.[13]

Significant former Vauxhall production cars include the Victor, Viva, Chevette and Cavalier. The current car range, manufactured by Opel and re-branded as Vauxhall in the UK, includes the Adam (city car), Viva (city car), Astra (small family car), Corsa (supermini), Insignia (large family car), Crossland X (subcompact crossover SUV), Mokka (subcompact SUV) and the Grandland X (compact SUV). Vauxhall sells high-performance versions of some of its models under the VXR and GSi sub-brands.