Opel brand called in for a service

Opel, part of General Motors, is conducting a review of its corporate identity as the manufacturer seeks to shake off its dull image and return to profitability.

A design consultancy has yet to be appointed and UK groups could be considered for the work. “The consultancy could come from anywhere [in Europe],” a spokeswoman says. An appointment is anticipated by September.

The corporate identity review is part of a restructuring plan, dubbed Project Olympia, which kicked off in June.

“Opel sees that it needs to be more dynamic, it needs a higher profile. Creating more flexibility and reliability in our cars is the first step in revitalising the brand,” says the spokeswoman. “The corporate identity is under review. The first results of Project Olympia will be made clear in September. We then have to decide if we hire a consultancy to look at it,” she adds.

Project Olympia’s aims include the revitalisation of the brand, improving profitability, optimising the dealer network, and looking at areas of possible expansion, according to the spokeswoman.

Opel lost £305m last year, its worst ever performance. The brand is also perceived by consumers as dull, according to industry commentators, a position acknowledged by the Opel management.

Its product strategy to woo back drivers includes making cars suited to a variety of lifestyles, offering “infotainment” such as navigation systems and on-board entertainment, providing sporty driving dynamics and developing a more modern look.

Product remains king in the car industry, but manufacturers are increasingly realising the importance of branding.

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