The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled that Vauxhall is in fact a British brand following complaints about a TV advert.
In January, the Luton-based firm ran an advert that ended with the tagline: “British brand since 1903”.
However, four people complained that this was misleading, because Vauxhall was, at the time, owned by the French PSA Group, previously having been owned by the American company General Motors.
In response, the firm said that the Vauxhall name was trademarked by UK-registered entity Vauxhall Motors Ltd. Furthermore, its vehicles were sold exclusively in the UK and had always built vehicles in Britain.
It argued that the fact that it was now owned by Amsterdam-based Stellantis NV – the company born from the merger between PSA Group and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles – did not stop it being a British brand.
Advertising clearance agency Clearcast stated that Vauxhall had been maintained as a British brand throughout its various owners, who had ‘recognised the value of maintaining a British manufacturing base with British workforce and a sales and marketing effort geared to maintaining the Britishness and success of the brand’.
As a result, the ASA did not uphold the complaints. It said that it recognised the fact that although some models, such as the Corsa, were built elsewhere, Vauxhall was not only established in the UK, but had kept its headquarters, offices, staff, manufacturing and infrastructure there. The fact Vauxhall models are only sold in the UK played a factor too.