Blog: Dave LeggettLife of Reilly

Dave Leggett | 16 October 2003

I spoke to Tony Lewis from Interchange yesterday about his recent 'in and out' to South Korea to take a look at GM Daewoo. A year on from the company's formation and things don't look too bad. The company is functioning, rebuilding sales in key markets and there's a growth strategy in place that involves much needed investment in new models. And apparently, Nick Reilly is enjoying life in the land of kimchi (pickled cabbage with garlic - the yummy national dish) and not missing Luton too much. There's still a lot to do of course, but Mr Reilly can legitimately point to significant achievements in year one. It's a decent beginning.

I also think GM is right to position Daewoo as the entry/value brand within its portfolio. But there will be a major challenge in Europe to position Opel/Vauxhall as further upmarket and distanced from Daewoo - something which Rick Wagoner has been emphasising in interviews lately. One thing that could help in Britain would be to finally drop the Vauxhall brand and replace it with Opel. Opel can be pitched as fine German engineering, GM's VW wannabe. But Vauxhall has a pretty low image in Britain I think. Maybe that's GM's hush-hush strategy (UK dealers can be expected to resist such a move, they have before).

Incidentally, we'll have a more in-depth interview with Nick Reilly published on just-auto soon.


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