Opel aims to double its market share in Russia

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 21, 2011

Opel, which is the European subsidiary of General Motors, seeks to boost its share in the Russian market from 2.6 percent to 5 percent in the following two to three years, CEO Karl-Friedrich Stracke revealed. He further disclosed in an interview with the Financial Times Deutschland that for this year, the company already sold around 50,000 units on the Russian market, adding that he was "optimistic" that the company will "continuously expand that."

Moreover, GM has added a shift at its Russian facility in St. Petersburg. Opel will be utilizing a part of that new capacity to produce its own automobiles, Stracke stated.

Chevrolet, which is Opel's sister brand, is the second bestselling marque in Russia behind Lada. Sales of Chevrolet in Russia increased 57 percent to 126,899 in the first nine months, as published by the Moscow-based Association of European Businesses.

Opel sales almost increased 100% to 48,543 during the same period. Opel is the 14th bestselling brand in Russia.

The country's vehicle market has rebounded greatly from the economic crisis. The nation could be on the right track to go back to achieving sales levels that it had last recorded in 2008, before demand hit bottom in 2009.

This development would enable the nation to contest Germany as the European leader on vehicle sales, according to the AEB.

Opel introduced its "sculptural artistry with German precision" design language on the Opel Insignia. Now, the brand is bringing this design language and its reinterpretation into the compact class through the new Opel Astra, which boasts of a coupé-like silhouette and a fresh athletic appearance. While its proportions give rise to a strong, cab-forward silhouette, its raking windshield and dropping rear roofline bring visual highlight to the hatchback format.

Opel has provided the flank of the Opel Astra with a new inverted blade that is visually linked to the dynamic movement of the C-pillar and the rear window. Onlookers could easily identify the new Astra even when looking at its posterior, thanks to the double wing-shaped rear lights. Of course, the exterior’s flowing forms have been continued into the interior of the new Opel Astra.

For instance, the cabin is laden with a number of new design cues like sweeping lines, curvaceous shapes and high-quality execution. One hallmark design cue is the instrument panel’s wraparound wing shape arching into the top of the door moldings. This configuration seemingly hugs the occupants of the new Opel Astra.

On the other hand, the car’s front door panels and base of the center stack are illuminated by a red diffused light. Mark Adams, Vice President of Design at General Motors Europe, remarked that Opel considers it very important to give each model its own, strong personality. This is why they reinterpreted for the Opel Astra the design cues that were first seen in the Insignia, such as the wing and the blade.

Topics: opel, russia

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