New Vauxhall Zafira developed with Peugeot
Vauxhall Zafira and Meriva models will be designed with Peugeot to cut costs
Both brands hope this move will help them cash in on the increasingly popular crossover market – to create a car with a mix of a tough SUV looks and conventional hatchback or estate running costs. As a result, the cars are likely to lose their current MPV design in favour of a 4x4-style body. Karl Thomas Neumann, Vauxhall’s European boss, said: “Crossovers are becoming more and more popular, and we will follow what these customers want, so both of those cars will move in that direction.”
These cars could also become a lot smaller than the current models. Neumann said: “The larger the car, the more brand sensitive the buyers, so for now we focus on smaller, more intelligent cars in Europe.” The exterior and interior design language commonly associated with Vauxhall will remain untouched, however.
Peugeot and Vauxhall’s partnership helped them both cut costs and they’re expected to save €60m this year, along with further savings as more new models go on sale. Vauxhall – Europe’s third biggest carmaker – sold one million vehicles last year, thanks to a template developed by Peugeot that enables them to produce cars in big volumes. The Vauxhall Zafira and Vauxhall Meriva are not currently using this template, but the new versions will be. Neumann said: “Of course they cannot be the same car because as soon as they leave the factory they are competitors, but we will make sure it feels like an Vauxhall.”
The two manufacturers originally planned to build a sub-£7,000 city car together, but those plans have been handed over exclusively to Vauxhall, which should allow the brand to develop and bring it to the market faster.
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