Because of the rising demand for the new Astra and Insignia and the launch of the new Meriva small minivan, Opel/Vauxhall sales have risen despite a 41% decline in Germany.
In an interview with Automotive News Europe, Jaap Timmer, president of Euroda, Opel's European dealership association, admitted that the company "could have lost some opportunities in the past, but not recently."
He said that Opel and Vauxhall continues to benefit from the Insignia being named 2009 European Car of the Year. He also said that the new Astra has been surpassing expectations.
Last month, Opel said that it had received 160,000 orders for the Astra five-door hatchback within six months, leaving the car only 20,000 orders short of its full-year target. Within a few weeks, 30,000 orders were received for the Meriva, which began arriving in European showrooms last month.
Opel's new Astra range will get a station wagon variant in Europe in November. The station wagon version generally accounts for about 25% of all Astra sales in Europe.
But on average, the station wagon variant of a compact model accounts for 17% of the total model line's sales in Europe. This indicates that Opel could experience an above-average improvement in sales with the arrival of the Astra Sports Tourer. [via autonews - sub. required]