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Opel Astra Heads Towards One Million Mark

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Opel Astra Heads Towards One Million Mark

Text & photos courtesy Adam Opel GmbH

03-16-2006

-Sales up 25 percent in 2005

-Number one compact car in eight European countries in 2005

-Most popular compact station wagon in Europe

-Market launch of Astra TwinTop cabrio

Two years after its market launch, the Opel Astra continues to enjoy great popularity throughout Europe. New registrations of the best-selling Astra, winner of numerous comparison tests in the highly-competitive compact class, rose from around 400,000 to 515,000 in 2005. This plus of approximately 110,000 units compared to 2004 represents an increase of 25 percent, and brings the current Astra generation close to the one million sales mark. Every tenth newly-registered compact car in Europe is an Opel, and the Astra was the number one compact in the registration figures of eight European countries in 2005. In February 2006, it was the second best-selling compact car in Germany and Europe. In addition to the five-door sedan and dynamic GTC, the station wagon is particularly attractive to new car buyers. This spacious, versatile, and elegant model confidently asserts its position as the most popular compact station wagon in Germany and Europe. From May, the Astra model family is extended with the addition of a fourth member, the Astra TwinTop. The “coupé among cabrios” features four fully-fledged seats, ample luggage compartment space and luxurious equipment, with prices starting at 23,650 euro.

Stylish design language

In order to better pinpoint factors contributing to the Astra’s success, Opel market researchers identified the main reasons for buying an Astra, and the result was no surprise: the design. The Astra’s exciting, progressive look sets it apart from its competitors, and makes a bold statement in the compact segment. The strongest interpretation of these dynamic proportions is displayed by the GTC and the GTC-based, high-performance sporty OPC model.

The design clearly shows what a key role the popular car plays for Opel. “The third-generation Astra face has helped to give the brand a new look, and will have an effect on the style of all subsequent models and model ranges. The elegant, athletic Astra TwinTop, the coupé among cabrios, is also instantly recognizable as an Astra family member. And the new Opel GT, a purebred sports car, also features Astra traits in its design,” says Alain Visser, Executive Director European Marketing Opel/Vauxhall.

High-tech forerunner

Other distinctive characteristics of the Astra include a range of modern engines with seven gasoline and four diesel engines producing 90 to 240 hp, and high driving dynamics in keeping with the car’s sporty image. The basis for this is the IDS (Interactive Driving System) chassis with McPherson front axle and patented torsion-beam rear axle. A new dimension of balance between driving comfort and active safety is provided by the optional adaptive IDSPlus chassis with electronic Continuous Damping Control (CDC). This integrated chassis control system, in which the control units and sensors of ESPPlus, ABS and CDC exchange data constantly, ensures optimal split-second fine-tuning of the chassis in every driving situation. This type of chassis control is usually found only in luxury models and exclusive sports cars. Adaptive Forward Lighting (AFL) with dynamic curve light was also first introduced into the compact segment in the Astra.

Safety, comfort, versatility, ergonomics, reliability, quality and efficiency are further features that the Astra showcases. It is no surprise the ADAC readers’ choice “Car of the Year 2005” is number one in numerous comparison tests conducted by international automotive journals.

Link: http://www.worldcarfans.com/news.cfm/count...ne-million-mark

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