Vauxhall Motors in Ellesmere Port is to have a new managing director.
The company has revealed that with effect from February 1 industry heavyweight Stephen Norman will be MD of Vauxhall Motors and Opel Ireland.
Mr Norman, who joined Vauxhall’s new owners the PSA Group four years ago, is currently senior vice president and chief sales and marketing officer at the manufacturer which also builds Peugeots and Citroens.
He will replace Rory Harvey who Vauxhall say ‘has elected to leave the business at the end of February’.
Mr Harvey has been chairman and MD of Vauxhalls since 2015. Vauxhalls said at the time: “Rory has a profound knowledge of the British car market, a wealth of experience within Vauxhall and Opel and excellent management qualities.
“We look forward to working with Rory on the implementation of our model offensive and on building an even stronger Vauxhall brand.”
Mr Norman will be responsible ‘for leading Vauxhall Motors and Opel Ireland business and development’ in line with PSA’s new strategic plan aiming at becoming ‘profitable, electric and global’.
He has reportedly declined to be drawn on the future of Ellesmere Port, saying it is too early for him to comment, but added that one of his first jobs would be to ‘stop the erosion of Vauxhall’s UK sales’.
“My brief is to dramatically improve the commercial fortunes of the brand,” he is understood to have said.
Latest figures from industry body the SMMT show Vauxhall’s sales in Britain fell 22% in 2017 as it sold 195,137 cars against 250,955 the previous year.
Despite losing almost 11,500 sales compared to 2016, the Astra was still the sixth most popular car in the UK last year with 49,370 models registered.
Analysts point to a trend in new car buyers preferring SUVs rather than the more traditional body styles produced at the Home of the Astra.
Meanwhile UK industry secretary Greg Clark has visited PSA arranged before the most recent job losses at Vauxhall were announced.