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Insignia pricing aims to give Mondeo a shock

Date: 10 June 2008   |   Author: Hugh Hunston

Insignia dash

Vauxhall's new Insignia will be cheaper than the Ford Mondeo. Prices will be in "the same area" as the Vectra despite extra size, technology and a more "premium" interior than its predecessor.

This was the guidance from Alain Visser, European executive director of Vauxhall/Opel marketing, as the brand revealed more details about its new upper medium contender.

Visser said: "The Insignia looks like a premium car but will not sell for premium prices. It will compete in the same pricing area as Vectra. It will be a close pricing match for anything in the market."

He also claimed the estate, due in early '09, is "probably the most convincing design in the range". Visser said: "It is not so utilitarian as the Vectra wagon but the Insignia has the same load capacity." The estate and a performance, all-wheel-drive VXR will debut at October's Paris show.

Mark Adams, vice president of GM's Euro design operation, said the Insignia represents a building block in Vauxhall's move "forwards and upwards" while Jochen Werner, assistant chief designer for interiors, claimed elevating the brand "leaves more room for Chevrolet".

Vauxhall claimed the cabin is designed to avoid distractions, including the decision not to use touch screens. Instead, a high-mounted screen is joined by a central console-operated, multi-function control, which Werner says minimises changing focus and maximises hand/eye co-ordination.

The Insignia's cabin features backlit red instrument panel controls. The selection of sports mode sees a change in instrument illumination from white to red.

Werner added: "We benchmarked premium models with the aim of making the driver and passengers feel they have got an upgrade."