Opel bets on Turkey to boost Astra sedan sales

Article by Christian A., 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.

Opel developers and engineers redesigned the Astra notchback with a superior design and classy silhouette. Its roofline bends smoothly across the passenger compartment and heads down seamlessly through the sharply raked rear screen then continues to the carved aerodynamic lip at the tip of the small rear deck. This creates an effect that hides the trunk size in a fashionable manner since the raked C-pillar extends towards the rear deck portion. The feature line that runs through the handles of the doors is also highlighted, thus forming a broad “shoulder” impression under the rear deck and the C-pillar base.

The back is principally defined by the combined deck spoiler, the sculpted bumper’s extensive sweep, and the sharply raked rear screen. While the taillights’ styling resembles that of the old Astra models, the delicate crease that joins them increases the width while preventing any bulky impression. The lights were also designed with an inner wing form for the taillight function to remain as the brand’s signature. Several other sculptural features are also implemented on the bumper where the plate number indent mirrors the deck-lid cutout shape. Taken together, these elements are combined to produce a harmonious and balanced car design.

Mark Adams, the Vice-President of Design, stresses that the Astra family utilizes the brand’s design language and applies it with sculptural creativity and artistry. Implementing German craftsmanship and precision, Astra’s different body styles have their own character and personality. He further believes that the four-door Astra is the most elegant notchback sold in the market. Clients can even choose to customize the Opel Astra and make it more attractive by selecting from different wheel designs of various sizes.

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