Opels latest Astra

Opel's latest Astra

Opel has confirmed strong sales across Europe in February, boosted by ramping up new Astra sales. The strong February figures will come as a boost for GM in Europe which is aiming to hit breakeven on its operations this year.

GM's European unit said that preliminary figures show new registrations of around 80,300 vehicles – an increase of 15% or around 10,500 units compared to the same month of 2015. Opel's market share was up by around 0.3 percentage points to 5.6 percent, it said. The company therefore recorded it best February sales figures and market share for five years.

Opel's overall results for the first two months of 2016 are also positive, it said. Sales were up by around 18,000 units or almost 13 percent, meaning that the brand grew more than twice as strong as the overall market.

 "We grew in 17 markets thanks to our young and attractive portfolio. The new Astra was key for our success. The Astra Sports Tourer, available at dealers from April, and the new Mokka X will continue to drive our business after a strong start into the year," said Peter Christian Küspert, Vice President Sales & Aftersales Opel Group.

Opel said its strong growth in February is mainly based on the demand for the new Astra. The Astra, whose current generation only made its market debut in most European countries in November, managed 18,000 sales in February, up by around a third on the outgoing model last year.

Across Europe Opel says it has received over 130,000 orders for the Astra – awarded European "Car of the Year 2016" in Geneva last week. The Opel Corsa was up by around 12 percent to 20,400 units in February.

In Geneva last week, Opel chief Karl-Thomas Neumann told just-auto that the brand was off to a strong start this year as GM looks to hit breakeven on its European operations in 2016.

See also: INTERVIEW – Opel chief Neumann sees strong start for breakeven year