A senior Opel executive says he believes the brand's sales will reach 80,000 units this year, helped in part by the launch of the new Astra sedan.

"We are achieving a growth rate in Russia that is well above the average. Currently we are growing twice as fast as the market. We will use this momentum for our increased sales drive," Opel's vice president of Sales, Marketing and Aftersales, Alfred E. Rieck, said during a press conference at the Moscow show.

Rieck predicted 80,000 Opel sales for Russia this year, which after Germany is currently the second biggest automotive market in Europe. In 2011, 70,000 Opel vehicles were sold there. "From January to July 2012 the Opel brand grew by 29 percent," Rieck added.

The four-door Astra, and facelifts for the existing five-door and Sports Tourer (wagon) had their world premieres at the Moscow motor show's media day on 29 August.

Author: Glenn Brooks

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Rüsselsheim/Moscow.  Opel wants to further boost its sales potential in Russia. “We are achieving a growth rate in Russia that is well above the average. Currently we are growing twice as fast as the market. We will use this momentum for our increased sales drive,” Opel Vice President, Sales, Marketing and Aftersales, Alfred E. Rieck, said. He was speaking at a press conference at the start of the Moscow Auto Salon (August 29 until September 9). Rieck announced a significant expansion of the product portfolio in Russia. He was especially referring to growth segments such as compact sedans and sub-compact SUVs. Opel wants to bring these high potential sellers, the Astra sedan and the Mokka SUV, to market by the end of this year.

Rieck predicted 80,000 Opel sales for Russia this year, which after Germany is currently the second biggest automotive market in Europe. In 2011, 70,000 vehicles of the brand were sold there. “From January to July 2012 the Opel brand grew by 29 percent. We are pinning our hopes on the Astra which is by far the most successful car label in Russia.” According to Rieck, the Astra could increase its share in the compact segment in the first half of this year from 4.4 to 6 percent. “With the new Astra sedan that is expected to arrive in September at the dealers, we can satisfy the demands of a very popular segment. Not only is this car technically at the top of its segment but it also makes a really strong impression with its elegant design. We are now going for it and are fully exploiting the diversity of the Astra line-up.”

Never before has the Opel stand, which is located in Hall 14 and covers an area of 1,750 square meters, been so vast. Apart from the new Astra sedan, this location also hosts the Astra five-door and the Astra Sports Tourer with their updated and fresh design cues. Both also have their world premieres. The fourth world premiere is the mid-size gasoline engine generation. Opel has announced that it is fundamentally renewing its engine range and the first phase of this plan is starting now. Three completely new engine families are in the pipeline. The gasoline turbocharged four-cylinder with a displacement of 1598 cc, central direct injection and Start/Stop technology now has its debut in Moscow. The new SIDI (spark ignition direct injection) ECOTEC engine provides an extraordinarily high maximum torque of up to 300 Nm. The production start is scheduled for the end of the year; Russia is expected to be one of its biggest markets.

Opel has had a presence in Russia since 1991 and traditionally makes a positive impression on customers with its design, reliability and modern, clever technology. Thanks to the General Motors outlet which was founded in 1992 in Russia, Opel was able to strengthen its foothold in the market step by step. Now 143 modern dealerships are now offering a sales and aftersales service.

Russia is third biggest Astra market, compact sedans much in demand

In the high growth market of Russia, four-door sedans and SUVs are in high demand. Across all segments, more than 60 percent of all sedans sold in Europe are sold in Russia. Last year, in the compact segment 51 percent of customers there opted for a notchback version. As Russia is the third biggest market for the Astra in Europe after Germany and the UK, the Moscow Auto Salon was a natural choice for Opel as the venue to celebrate the world premiere of the all-new sedan as well as the five-door and Sports Tourer variants of the new Astra model line-up.

Original source: http://media.gm.com/media/intl/en/opel/news.detail.html/content/Pages/news/intl/en/2012/opel/08_30_russia_sales_drive.html

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