General Motors Europe has taken more than 50,000 orders for its new B-segment Opel/Vauxhall Corsa, which goes on sale across Europe on 7 October.

According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper, more detailed figures will be announced at the Paris motor show later this week.

GM offered an incentive of around EUR1,000 of extra equipment for customers who placed their orders early.

Sales and marketing manager Alain Visser said that, by offering the early-ordering incentive, he is getting more cars on the road more quickly, and that is the best marketing for the car - more efficient than the best billboard advertising.

Opel used a similar approach when launching the redesigned Astra a couple of years ago - offering additional equipment like air conditioning to buyers who ordered early and prompting VW to improve the specifications of its recently launched rival Golf line.

The Corsa should account for more than 20% of Opel's sales in 2007, up from 15% this year, according to sales director Thomas Owsianski.