A comparative time line of the history of Vauxhall.
Vauxhall was founded in 1857 and began manufacturing cars in 1903. Their first car was a five horsepower model which was steered using a tiller, it featured two forward gears and no reverse. General Motors purchased the Vauxhall brand in 1925. Prior to the GM takeover the company enjoyed success producing high quality sporting models. Most of the early successful Vauxhall models were created by the designer Laurence Pomeroy. The first design he released was the Y-Type Y1, which had outstanding success at the 1908 RAC and Scottish 2000 mile reliability trials. The Y-Type Y1 performed very well on hilly terrain, taking an average of 37 seconds less time than any other cars in its class.
During World War I Vauxhall produced a vast quantity of the D-Type with a de-rated engine to be used as staff cars by the British forces. The first significant vehicle that Vauxhall produced prior to the GM purchase was the two litre Cadet which retailed at £280. The company then tried to re-brand themselves and move away from the pre-war sports models that they were producing beforehand. In 1931 they introduced the first Bedford truck. The Bedford subsidiary went on to produce many popular models up until GM ceased production of the vehicles in 1994.
During the 60s Vauxhall released two of their most popular models the Viva and the Victor, both of which did extremely well on the commercial market. Vauxhall enjoyed success in the 1970s with an updated version of the 1963 Viva receiving both critical acclaim and success on the commercial market.
In 1975 Vauxhall released the Chevette, a 3 door hatchback, the first of its kind to be manufactured in Britain. The Chevette went on to become the UK’s best selling hatchback between 1975 to 1978. Throughout the 1990s Vauxhall enjoyed success with the Cavalier, a family car that went on to make well over 130,000 sales. In 1993 the company released the critically acclaimed Corsa which featured a cutting edge design and a four cylinder engine.
Currently Vauxhall are working on their ecoFLEX technology which aims to make their vehicles more environmentally friendly. Vauxhall are also aiming to reduce emissions from their vehicles and to use more recycled materials during the manufacturing process.