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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Top 10 brand

1. 54,939 VW
2. 22,623 Mercedes-Benz
3. 21,459 BMW
4. 21,436 Audi
5. 19,759 Opel
6. 16,597 Ford
7. 16,218 Skoda
8. 10,228 Hyundai
9. 7,982 Renault
10. 7,659 Seat

September 2014: 260,058 +5.24%
September 2013: 247,115

Jan-Sep 2014: 2,281,577 +2.95%
Jan-Sep 2013: 2,216,170


Top 10 car

1. 27,575 VW Golf
2. 6,382 Audi A3, S3, RS3
3. 6,049 VW Passat
4. 5,912 Opel Corsa
5. 5,818 VW Polo
6. 5,659 Mercedes-Benz C-Klasse
7. 5,183 BMW 1er
8. 4,853 Skoda Octavia
9. 4,410 BMW 3er
10. 4,045 Opel Astra
 

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Audi outsells Opel. That is not good
Audi outsells Opel already for a long time.

Audi:
September 2014: 21,436 +10.43 %
September 2013: 19,411

Jan-Sep 2014: 197,211 +3.26 %
Jan-Sep 2013: 190,986

Opel:
September 2014: 19,759 +2.68 %
September 2013: 19,243

Jan-Sep 2014: 167,294 +6.38 %
Jan-Sep 2013: 157,260
 

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Audi outsells Opel already for a long time.

Audi:
September 2014: 21,436 +10.43 %
September 2013: 19,411

Jan-Sep 2014: 197,211 +3.26 %
Jan-Sep 2013: 190,986

Opel:
September 2014: 19,759 +2.68 %
September 2013: 19,243

Jan-Sep 2014: 167,294 +6.38 %
Jan-Sep 2013: 157,260


Changed days. Once upon a time the Astra and Golf were close competitors. Where did it go wrong?
 

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Germans prefer to buy German cars.

In the late nineties GM became more vocal in Germany, threatening to close Opel plants, Detroit executives having to use German interpreters on German TV and in union negotiations, etc. The German image is sort of gone now, people do realise now that Opel is a foreign company.
 

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Germans prefer to buy German cars.

In the late nineties GM became more vocal in Germany, threatening to close Opel plants, Detroit executives having to use German interpreters on German TV and in union negotiations, etc. The German image is sort of gone now, people do realise now that Opel is a foreign company.
If that is the case, then GM needs to close its plants in Germany and open up replacements in Poland, Russia, or Czechoslovakia.
 
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If that is the case, then GM needs to close its plants in Germany and open up replacements in Poland, Russia, or Czechoslovakia.
^^^This. It reminds me of GM and Ford still building vehicles in Detroit/Michigan while it's citizens drive around in toyotas, Hondas, BMWs, and Fiats. Why reward these people with an economy if they are only gonna spend that economy on foreign makers
 

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Wow, how does the Corsa manage to do so well? It's really pretty tired looking to me.
Because of fleets and dealer self-sales. Only 749 units were sold to retail customers. That is 12.67%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you were wondering why Opel profit has been in the crapper...look no further!
 

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It is not that Germans prefer German cars. VW is the top-selling brand or among the top 3 in almost every European market (sometimes under the guise of Skoda or Seat, depending on the market's affluence). Premium brands, among which BMW, Audi and Merc are leaders by a long shot, have been taking more and more market share from "volume" brands (who are not "volume" anymore) everywhere around here. At least one BMW, Merc or Audi is among the top 10 in pretty much every country. The fact that they don't have more in top 10 is only due to them having more models (due to pricing premiums they have a budget for that, so they always have something exciting for the press and the buyers).

GM has overslept the shift and now they are relying on fleet sales and dumping the product with little margins at all (which is why there is no money to update the Corsa, and Astra is on a five-six year model cycle, while the Golf is on four.

Basically, GM lost it when they closed Saab. Opel will never be a premium brand, they are struggling to not be considered second-rate to VW. Kia and Hyundai are cheaper, as are the French, Toyota has the hybrids, Mazda has better consumption, Honda has a loyal customer base and Nissan has the Qashqai. Opel is your poor local sales rep's fleet car, with plastic hubcaps over fake steel "alloys" (an Opel invention), with manual airco and sold at steep discounts.

Another obvious result of that are awful resales, as there are heaploads of post-fleet worn-out Opels around. The difference between a fleet version and the impressive loaded ones that Opel pictures in their ads can be 200% when new, but it is much less when used. As more and more people and companies lease cars rather than buy in cash, this majorly affects the leasing rate. In many countries, one can have a Mercedes A for not much more monthly than an Astra, and given Mercedes' brand appeal as premium, guess what they choose.

Merc built a new factory in Hungary to cope with the demand overflow when their German capacity for the compacts was exhausted, and still had to contract out to Valmet (former Saab plant) over that. BMW contracted out some of the MINI production to VDL Nedcar in the Netherlands (former Mitsu factory). At the same time, Ford closed Genk and Opel is closing Bochum.

Opel is actually playing the "German engineering" card hard, with Claudia Shiffer (poached from Citroen) touting Germanness as much as she can without wearing a dirndl and yodelling. Uprooting Opel and moving it from their home country of German would cancel out their last USP.
 

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It is not that Germans prefer German cars. VW is the top-selling brand or among the top 3 in almost every European market (sometimes under the guise of Skoda or Seat, depending on the market's affluence). Premium brands, among which BMW, Audi and Merc are leaders by a long shot, have been taking more and more market share from "volume" brands (who are not "volume" anymore) everywhere around here. At least one BMW, Merc or Audi is among the top 10 in pretty much every country. The fact that they don't have more in top 10 is only due to them having more models (due to pricing premiums they have a budget for that, so they always have something exciting for the press and the buyers).

GM has overslept the shift and now they are relying on fleet sales and dumping the product with little margins at all (which is why there is no money to update the Corsa, and Astra is on a five-six year model cycle, while the Golf is on four.

Basically, GM lost it when they closed Saab. Opel will never be a premium brand, they are struggling to not be considered second-rate to VW. Kia and Hyundai are cheaper, as are the French, Toyota has the hybrids, Mazda has better consumption, Honda has a loyal customer base and Nissan has the Qashqai. Opel is your poor local sales rep's fleet car, with plastic hubcaps over fake steel "alloys" (an Opel invention), with manual airco and sold at steep discounts.

Another obvious result of that are awful resales, as there are heaploads of post-fleet worn-out Opels around. The difference between a fleet version and the impressive loaded ones that Opel pictures in their ads can be 200% when new, but it is much less when used. As more and more people and companies lease cars rather than buy in cash, this majorly affects the leasing rate. In many countries, one can have a Mercedes A for not much more monthly than an Astra, and given Mercedes' brand appeal as premium, guess what they choose.

Merc built a new factory in Hungary to cope with the demand overflow when their German capacity for the compacts was exhausted, and still had to contract out to Valmet (former Saab plant) over that. BMW contracted out some of the MINI production to VDL Nedcar in the Netherlands (former Mitsu factory). At the same time, Ford closed Genk and Opel is closing Bochum.

Opel is actually playing the "German engineering" card hard, with Claudia Shiffer (poached from Citroen) touting Germanness as much as she can without wearing a dirndl and yodelling. Uprooting Opel and moving it from their home country of German would cancel out their last USP.
So you are saying, Opel needs better products? Or Opel will never ever be profitable and it can never lift itself out of its current problems?
 

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looks like it was a bad month for Opel in Europe.

UK Vauxhall sales were down -0.3%, the UK car market was up at +5.6% on average.

UK sales September
Vauxhall car sales 41,175 -0.3%
Vauxhall van sales 3,705 sales -2.8%
Vauxhall total 44,880

Vauxhall Corsa 12,506 sales down -14%
Vauxhall Astra 8,861 sales down -20%

Looks like EU markets No1 market is RHD UK in September.
No1 RHD GM Europe - UK 44,880
No2 LHD GM Europe Germany 19,759

UK is GM's biggest buyers of cars followed by Germany, it looks like GM Europe have had a bit of an off month in the EU in September.
 
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I find this incredible! That's over 100,000 units in the month for VAG, or 50% of the top-10 list (okay, okay, that's a made-up metric, but still pretty telling)!
VW Group is strong in their home market, but it's formidable across the EU. For instance, in Finland their year-to-date market share is 29.5%... To compare, GM's market share is only 4.8%.
 

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So you are saying, Opel needs better products? Or Opel will never ever be profitable and it can never lift itself out of its current problems?
It's not Opel. It's GM. One of the problems GM has is that it thinks of parts of itself as something separate and alien. They may put Opel badges on cars and be registered as Adam Opel AG, but it's GM Europe. And it's not some red-headed stepchild, it's a part of GM.

In GM's empire we shall never know if something is profitable or not. GM can to a large extent transfer profits between their companies at will. For example Saab Automobile AB didn't see a penny from Saab 9-7X sales.

As regards Opel and its products, they are OK, although they surely should be better. GM is wasting money on doing the same car two or three times. E.g. the Cruze and the Astra - it's brilliant that they share the platform, but they are essentially the same car, and all come in a sedan, hatch and wagon option. They appeal to the same market and then GM is tripping over their own feet to somehow market them differently. VW, with their volumes and pricing premiums, can afford some internal competition. GM can't split the hair in two.

In effect, we have two rather good, but not outstanding, products - and to drag themselves out of the position they're in, they need truly outstanding products, and deliver tchem consistently, for people to notice. They basically need to outdo VW and only after a few years of doing so may they begin to slowly regain pricing power. But since they have no pricing power, GM does not want to spend money on making outstanding product (even if they do spend on doing two or three so-so products) and here we go again. It's the same problem with GM all around the world.
 

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In effect, we have two rather good, but not outstanding, products - and to drag themselves out of the position they're in, they need truly outstanding products, and deliver tchem consistently, for people to notice. They basically need to outdo VW and only after a few years of doing so may they begin to slowly regain pricing power. But since they have no pricing power, GM does not want to spend money on making outstanding product (even if they do spend on doing two or three so-so products) and here we go again. It's the same problem with GM all around the world.
It's always the same old story at GM - GM decide to make a great car, then GM commits $$$, and 2/3 through the development process GM decides that they need to reallocate some of that money somewhere else. And that's how you end up with half-baked products: the best GM cars ever, but still somehow 5 years behind the competition. That's what happened to the current Opel Astra, and the one before.

BTW, Chevrolet Cruze has made it to the Top Gear magazine: The worst cars you can buy, right now

Chevrolet Cruze

Still on sale albeit departing, head bowed. A disastrous attempt to hoodwink Europeans into thinking it would suffice as a mainstream car when it's actually crude and backward, forcing GM into a brand strategy that pushed the Vauxhall Astra up in price to a place it could never comfortably perch. This misjudgement didn't only break Chevy in Europe, but was on course to badly harm Vauxhall-Opel too. It's a once-in-a-lifetime bad car/bad business case synergy of awful.
 
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