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GM's Opel gets over 30,000 bookings for new Astra
Sunday February 29, 11:08 am ET

FRANKFURT, Feb 29 (Reuters) - General Motors (NYSE:GM - News) unit Adam Opel said on Sunday that it had received more than 30,000 firm orders for the new version of its Astra hatchback, a direct competitor to Volkswagen's (XETRA:VOWG.DE - News) main hope, the Golf V.

Opel is counting on a successful launch for the car in March to help it recover from a 384 million euro ($479 million) operating loss last year as weak sales, currency effects, discounts and an overhaul of its sales network took their toll.

An Opel spokesman said a third of the orders were from its domestic market, Germany, and the order position was better than it had expected.

"We are already expecting a big success for the Astra," he said.

Opel, which has suffered from a tired-looking product range in a declining market, is pinning a good deal of its hopes for recovery on the Astra and has said it plans to roll out about 300,000 units this year.

It will be trumpeting the imminent arrival of the radically overhauled car at the Geneva auto show which gets underway in Switzerland in the coming week.

Having implemented a turnaround plan over the last three years, Opel is aiming to post a small operating profit in 2004 as cost cuts take effect.

Full Article Here

New Astra Link





 

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Whenever I see an Opel, especially one like this, I am beside myself. There is not one GM small offering in the U.S. that has nearly the appeal of this car. We get the Ion, the Europeans get this Astra. Even the forthcoming Cobalt looks dated next to the Astra.

Thankfully VW respects the intelligence of the American consumer, and they offer non-dumbed-down versions of their cars here. Call the Astra a Golf-eater if you like, but it's a moot point in the U.S. market. When I know GM truly CAN cook up enticing stuff like this, it's all the more reason I won't eat the crap they push into my face. It's an insult.
 

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I still make the same complaint again and again and I'm saying it again: why don't we get cars like this here in the states!?! :angry:
 

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I think they should build that in the states as a 5 door cobalt, to give the mazda 3 some competition. Shouldnt be too hard new fascia to match cobalt SS and hopefully the dash will fit :(
 

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Provided that Holden doesn't repeat the same mistake they did when they released the new generation Vectra and upgraded Barina (Corsa) in Australia with hefty price rise's from the outgoing models, Holden should be onto anther winner here. The Astra is already one of Australia's top 5 selling car's, the new generation doesn't reach Australia and New Zealand til August, and I'm sure with the new model coming, it will continue to do the same. Holden should shift 35,000 Astra's this year of the current model. Not bad considering the car has never really had any major upgrades in it's model cycle.
 

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Originally posted by RCtennis3811@Mar 1 2004, 04:15 AM
I still make the same complaint again and again and I'm saying it again: why don't we get cars like this here in the states!?! :angry:
:zap:

I just can't listen to such complaints
we don't have
Cadillacs
Buicks
Lincolns
Chevys
Pontiacs
and many many more....!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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When people talk about whether or not Pontiac should have an entry-level car below the G6 - well, I think this would be an excellent candidate.

It appears to share platform and other key pieces with the Cobalt (I could be wrong here), but it seems altogether a more expensive, more upmarket piece.

I would make sense in the Pontiac lineup while being amply differentiated from the Chevy Cobalt.
 

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Yeah, they're both on the Delta platform.

We get the chicken scratch in the states. You think GM would treat its home market a little better.

Vectra trumps Malibu on Epsilon. Astra trumps Cobalt on Delta. No excuse.
 

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Sorry guys.....but other than some differences in trim from the Cobalt...I dont really see that we are missing much here....remember that in Europe this is the bread and butter market, where over here it's midsize cars, so yeah it's going to look a little fancier...but I can see the clear Cobalt resemblance in the roofline.

I do think that it would make a nice Pontiac..


Please no more........"bring every Opel overhere" stuff, what did they lose......like $400,000,000 Euros?......let them get their own house in order before they start thinking about US export.
 

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wow! sounds impressive to me! how often are there bookings for such a volume, main-stream car? i like the sounds of that! it's not like the SSR or vette or something... this is a 200,000+ cars/year model! hopefully it'll help to reverse the problems GM of europe is having... GM's overall heath is important to GM north america.
 

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Originally posted by MCGARRETT@Mar 2 2004, 03:40 PM
remember that in Europe this is the bread and butter market, where over here it's midsize cars, so yeah it's going to look a little fancier

Please no more........"bring every Opel overhere" stuff, what did they lose......like $400,000,000 Euros?......let them get their own house in order before they start thinking about US export.
Even if small cars are not bread and butter in the U.S. market, persay, that doesn't mean what's offered here should be anything less than it is in Europe. Getting guys out of their Civics will be a challenge. The Ion is not up to the task, and the Cobalt, although decent, is certainly not enough for someone to abandon their Honda. The NEXT year-launch Cobalt is more on-par with the current Civic. The next Civic will move forward, like the Astra, and the Astra is the type of car GM needs in the U.S. to truly compete.

Few are suggesting that they "bring Opel to the States." The point is to bring the essence of the Opels here... In other words, the Chevys and Pontiacs should be nothing less. This is even a rare case where rebadging could work, because Opels remain exclusive to Europe. Rebadge an Astra and make it the new small Pontiac... available in hatch and trunk versions.

I'd buy an Astra. But the Cobalt is nothing perticularly special on the exterior, and the interior is cribbed from the 1999 VWs. The Astra seems more up to date, and it's rather distinctive. GM has always struggled with small cars in the U.S. while Opel had something better. Makes no sense.
 

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I dont think that it would make a bad Pontiac.....

But I dont think that you can deny that this is a good looking little car...

http://www.chevrolet.com/cobalt/


Again...different flavors...different countries.

Toyota and Honda both make different versions for the US and Europe of the Camry and the Accord.

The Astra is nice, but its not fair to completey dismiss the Cobalt without driving the car or having any kind of first hand experience with the car.
 

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We get both the North American and European version's of the Accord in Australia, Accord Euro and just Accord. I guess you guy's do as well, with the Accord Euro badged as an Acura TSX??

We also build the Toyota Camry in Australia, but I wasn't aware there was a "European " Camry?? Are you sure you're not thinking about the Toyota Avensis, which is roughly the same size as a Toyota Camry?? The Avensis look's so much better than the Camry!!
 

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I remember seeing an ad for the Euro Camry in an issue of CAR. I dont remember all the details....but I do recall that the design was different. Maybe they have some pics on Toyotas UK website?

True, we get the sedan version of the Euro Accord as the Acura TS-X, but only the sedan, not the 5 door or wagon versions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I don't think many people's "tastes" in North America include an interior awash in a sea of gray plastic. This is the potential problem with the NA versions of cars introduced by GM as tweaked by Detroit designers.

Volkswagen has serious quality issues that are all but eliminated from the minds of the common buyer simply by having attractive interiors like the Astra above. No Volkswagen bean counters are eager to rip out the innards of the Passat and replace it with snore inducing neutral shades of gray and beige, claiming "Different Tastes". And rightfully so.

The Cobalt SS looks great -- I'm just hoping that the dark graphite interior with some aluminum look trim makes in in there somewhere in the final product. No NAV system? OK, I can deal with that. No two tone brown leather with colored inserts in the doors and wood grain? OK, I can deal with that. Cheaper looking headrests? OK.

A whole-lotta-gray-goin'-on with some Chintzy gray mouse fur fabric and Miami Vice turquoise and pink splash colored inserts (Colorado)? No, I can't deal with that.

I like the Pontiac Montana SV6 interior shots, and the Cobalt SS --- let's hope GM gives up the gray, beige, and kinda-dark-gray graphite interiors and at least OFFERS some other, more upscale LOOKING interior colors on the models coming out this summer.

And I don't want to hear how difficult black is to clean, because people buy a car on how great it looks in the dealer's lot. Cheap gray fabric should be relegated to Aveo Fleet Duty.

That Pontiac G6 interior 'o gray just disappointed big time. Why should my interior look like the inside of a a Rubbermaid trash barrel?
 

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Originally posted by MCGARRETT@Mar 3 2004, 03:32 AM

But I dont think that you can deny that this is a good looking little car...

http://www.chevrolet.com/cobalt/


I agree that Cobalt is a decent effort. Very conservative, which is probably OK for the 4-door, considering the Jetta-types it's targeting.

But I think there should be a small car in GM's U.S. lineup, coupe or hatch, that pushes the envelope a little more. The Astra looks like a "gotta have" car to me, whereas the Cobalt is more "nice to have".

A "Pontiac Astra" would suddenly put GM at the top of the small-car food chain in terms of desirability. Unfortunately, part of the problem is pricing. The Astra will run low to mid $20Ks, and the American market is not particularly keen on expensive small cars. Those that are have flocked to VW in recent years. But when you look at what makes the Astra stand out, it's nothing that would cost alot of money over Cobalt. Just more intriguing shapes, colors, trim, ... plus, Cobalt will top-out in the $20Ks as well, I suppose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Dow Jones Business News
GM's Opel Says 50,000 Astra Orders Ahead Of Launch
Thursday March 18, 7:02 am ET

BERLIN -(Dow Jones)- Carmaker Adam Opel AG , the European subsidiary of General Motors Corp. (NYSE:GM - News) , Thursday said it has about 50,000 European orders for the new Astra ahead of its official launch on Saturday.

Opel has been offering a discount of more than EUR1,000 on a package of options including air conditioning and an on-board computer in an effort to generate demand ahead of the compact's appearance in dealer showrooms.

An Opel spokesman said there were no plans to continue incentives on the Astra following the launch.

The Opel Astra is the chief competitor to Volkswagen AG's Golf. Opel's aggressive tactics were seen as dampening demand for the redesigned Golf, which was launched in October.

Following Opel's early-bird offer Volkswagen announced it was adding free air conditioning to the Golf, which is seen as overpriced.

In its latest issue, influential German car magazine Auto Motor und Sport rated the Astra above the Golf, chiefly because of the Astra's cheaper price.


 

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Another reason it's giving the Golf a hard time, is that the Opel is a more appropriate-looking successor to the current Golf than the new Golf is. It's pretty clear that Opel started development of the new Astra with a Golf Mk4 in the studio.
 

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Originally posted by desmo9@Mar 4 2004, 05:29 PM

A "Pontiac Astra" would suddenly put GM at the top of the small-car food chain in terms of desirability. Unfortunately, part of the problem is pricing.
That, and the fact that it would remind those of us with long memories of the Vega-clone of the same name in the 70's... ;)
 
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