Opel bets on Turkey to boost Astra sedan sales

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 5, 2012

Opel believes that its new Astra four-door compact sedan will boost its growth in Turkey. Opel sales chief Alfred Rieck released a statement right before the opening of the biennial Istanbul auto show. He said that the company is targeting sales of over 50,000 cars in Turkey and to widen its share from 6.0% to an estimated 6.3%.

Ozkan Keklik, managing director for Opel in Turkey, said that the Astra, which has a starting price in Germany of 18,270 euros ($23,700), is believed to be the key to the success of this strategy.

Keklik said that the demand for compact cars with a separate luggage compartment is strong in this market. Opel said that last year, its total Turkish market sales were nearly 911,000 vehicles.

Of this figure, 251,000 were compact sedans. In 2011, Opel sold 54,437 vehicles in Turkey, which makes it the No. 7 biggest market behind the five core western European countries and Russia. General Motors classified Opel as a regional similar to how it considers the Buick marque so it’s offered in select countries, mainly in the declining European market where most carmakers accumulate heavy losses.

Since Opel can’t get to China or Brazil, the brand could only enter new sources of growth in Russia and Turkey. Last Wednesday, GM said that it doesn’t think that Opel will post a profit until the middle of the decade due to the harsh auto market in western Europe, where sales are at its lowest in almost two decades.

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