It was in 1857 that founder, Alexander Wilson, began what we now know as Vauxhall. Back then, the company was named Alex Wilson and Company and it wasn’t until 1907 when this changed to Vauxhall Motors.

The First Vauxhall Car

In 1903 the first Vauxhall car was made. It was a five-horsepower model that used a tiller, instead of a steering wheel. It is estimated that around 70 of these vehicles were made until they were improved with a steering wheel and a reverse gear in 1904.

Pre world war 1, Vauxhall cars were sporty in design, after the war, however, they became more austere after the war when expensive cars of that kind were no longer in demand.

General Motors

In 1925, Vauxhall was acquired by General Motors for $2.5 million and from this point forward, the company’s target market and image was gradually, but firmly, changed.

The aim was to control production costs and produce affordable and more conventional vehicles that still offered modern technological advances.

The first car to mark the change in brand image and target market was the two-litre Vauxhall Cadet.

Production at Luton continued to expand with the new motto in mind and in 1934, they began work on a brand new design, featuring an entirely new car body. The change required investment and expansion and meant more employees were required.

In September 1937, the new car type was released – the H Type 10-4, named due to its 10 horsepower and 4 cylinder engine. The car was a complete success and the initial demand for it exceeded production levels. Within six months 10,000 cars had been created, a record for production levels at Vauxhall.

Military Production

Car production at the Luton headquarters was suspended during World War 2 so efforts could be focussed on making the new Churchill tank and resumed in September. Post-war, Vauxhall resumed manufacturing civilian vehicles, assisted by the fact that their Bedford trucks could be easily redirected towards this market.

Modern Day Vauxhall

Vauxhall still produces a wide range of vehicles, ranging from small family cars, SUV’s vans and more.

In 2017, Groupe PSA purchased Vauxhall and Opel’s subsidiaries for €2.2 billion. In the same year, Vauxhall’s official company name was amended from General Motors UK Limited back to Vauxhall Motors Limited.

Griffin Autos

We are Vauxhall specialists and perform all services to dealer specification. If you have a problem with your vehicle or would like to book in for routine maintenance, please call 01525 402896. We can collect your vehicle if you are located within 3 miles of our garage.