OPEL MARKETING operations outside Germany may adopt new national logos to strengthen the appeal of the Opel marque within their own borders.
Opel sales executives in Germany are happy with the traditional emblem of a circle bisected by a lighting flash.
It originated on the early Opel Blitz truck.
Some marketers elsewhere on the continent think the badge lacks local allure.
'There is certainly discussion going on,' said Peter Gerber, director of corporate and visual brand identity at General Motors Europe headquarters in Zurich. 'Nothing has been decided or approved, but it would make sense in those markets where Opel awareness is still fairly low.
'Internationally, the Opel brand image of the lightning flash is a strong one, but it is not so strong through some actual markets,' Gerber said.
'In these markets it would be a good idea to strengthen the brand and its national presence.'
The idea arose during discussions over the TV and print campaigns to launch the new Astra, Gerber said.
Opels already have a separate identity in one market.
In the UK, Opel models sell as Vauxhalls, under the badge of the griffin.
This heraldic beast, half lion, half eagle, was the crest of an early 13th century knight, Fulk le Breant. The knight's home was known as Fulk's Hall.
That name was later corrupted to Vauxhall. There was founded the UK car company which became part of the international General Motors.
'Marketing executives in France, Italy and Spain look with envy at the strong national identity of the Vauxhall griffin in the UK,' said Stuart Harris, UK brand manager for Astra.
'They would dearly like to have a logo as historic and as nationally potent as ours,' Harris said. 'Important and familiar as the Opel badge is, it does not have the universal appeal beyond German borders that it obviously has within Germany, and there is a move in other markets to do something about this.'
Apparently few specific proposals for national logos have been put forward at this stage.
Moreover, is it not clear whether a new national logo would adapt the Opel badge or whether it would replace the Opel symbol or would be used alongside it.
Even so, Opel marketing executives in France are understood to favor a version of La Marianne, the heroic lady who proclaims 'Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite' on French stamps and coins.