SOURCE: AutoBlog, AutoNews.com
MORE HEREThe Astra is not just a financial burden for the General – it isn't exactly a sales success, either. GM has sold only 7,914 so far this year, which is far below the projected pace of 25,000 annual units. Part of the problem is that few people actually know the Astra exists, and those who do may not want to pay the relatively high price of entry. If you've driven or own an Astra, let us know what you think of it in the comments.
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MORE HERESince gas topped the $4 mark earlier this year, small, efficient cars have been selling like gangbusters. MINI is completely sold out for 2008 and most of the efficient models on the market have been selling at a clip of 50,000 units per month. But while the segment continues to thrive, General Motors’ Saturn Astra has been left out of the action.
The Astra hit the U.S. market back and January, but has only managed to tally 7,914 sales – well short of the company’s goal of 25,000 sales. The problem doesn’t lie with the Astra itself – as we can attest to – but rather the car’s high sticker price.
When GM first decided to sell the Belgium-made Astra in the U.S., it targeted a starting price of $15,500. That price was intended to be low enough to entice buyers into Saturn showrooms, but also high enough to leave a little coin in the General’s pocket. However, the value of the dollar dropped during the Astra’s U.S. development, which ruined GM’s well laid plan.
“Well, I have to tell you, the price is no longer $15,500, and the profit is no longer there, either,” GM vice chairman Bob Lutz told Automotive News.