To encourage car buyers in Germany to go back to patronizing in its home market, Opel intends to act swiftly, cleverly and patiently, according to Opel/Vauxhall CEO and GM Europe President Nick Reilly. At the Automotive News Europe Congress in Bilbao, Spain last month, he said that the company needs to "rebuild the image in Germany."
He said that Opel has to "do something significant" to bring back the confidence. Reilly said that soon, Opel will reveal the answer to its problem. One of the options that Opel is considering is a "loyalty bonus."
Opel aims to get the attention of the millions of people who already own an Opel to consider the company once again in buying a new car. Reilly revealed that according to statistics, 12.8% of the 41.74 million cars registered in Germany are Opels.
In the past five months, Opel only had a 7.4% share of Germany's 1.18 million new-car sales. To put it more clearly, it means that one out of every eight cars on Germany's roads is an Opel but only one out of every 13 new cars sold in the country is an Opel.
The company considers this gap as a chance to grow. Opel spokesman Stefan Weinmann said that the company has the opportunity to get back many of its past customers. He added that the company is "fine-tuning dedicated commercial actions."
According to a report from The Financial Times that cited unnamed sources, Opel plans to offer current Opel owners a 2,500 euro ($3,092) incentive to trade in their old cars for new ones.
The plan is similar to Germany's state-funded scrapping program that took effect for most of 2009. Opel didn't provide many details about the program but one source said that this was one of the topics at the Opel supervisory board last week.
The source added that the action will be expensive and that it will take some time before there are significant results. [via autonews - sub. required]