Opel makeover includes brand know how from ex-cosmetics guru image

Tina Mueller, the German brand’s marketing chief, has been asked to use her brand wisdom and transform Opel, the loss making GM brand that has been striving to recover and regain its place in the European market.

She has directed the brand to offer features that you don’t normally see in mass-market autos, such as the new Opel Astra’s perfume diffuser and the award-winning massage seats. Two years ago she was performing in the cosmetics industry when General Motors – the largest US automaker – called her to redo the image of Opel, which has been limping for years. She has addressed the tired image of the brand with edgy campaigns that target the consumer misconceptions over the 116-year-old German car brand. “I have to be louder in my campaigns,” she commented in an interview with Automotive News Europe. “I can dare more, be more courageous. I have to bring something different.” The brand restoration strategy is not something unique to Opel, its fellow companions inside the General Motors group – Chevrolet, Buick or Cadillac – all have to rework the motorists’ preconceived ideas to various degrees.

But Opel is a dire case – even as GM decided to pull the plug on the Chevy brand in Europe to concentrate its money and efforts with the former – because the automaker’s market share has been bleeding for 14 long years through 2012. Now for the past two years there have been some gains and Opel chief executive officer Karl-Thomas Neumann knows GM is counting on him and his management team to deliver a profit next year, while also adding up to 5 percent pretax operating profit to the group’s overall financial books by 2022.

Via Automotive News Europe