Faced with a difficult market environment, General Motors’ Germany-based subsidiary Opel persevered in 2013 to sell 1.064 million vehicles in Europe. The results make Opel GM’s second-largest brand by sales volume (after Chevrolet) while strengthening its position as the third-strongest passenger car brand in Europe.
Overall, Opel — as well as its UK sister brand Vauxhall, recorded a market share of 5.61 percent in Europe compared to 5.59 percent the year before. Notably, 2013 marked the first year-on-year growth in market share for the brand in 14 years.
Peter Christian Küspert, Member of the Management Board, Sales and Aftersales, attributes this to the successful launches of the ADAM, Cascada, and Mokka. Notably, Opel has already received 62,000 orders for the Adam and 177,000 for the Mokka.
The increased market share is thanks to individual increases in year-over-year market share in eleven countries, among them core markets of Germany, the UK, and Spain, as well as growth markets Turkey and Russia. In the German passenger car market specifically, Opel increased its market share to 7.0 percent versus 6.9 percent a year ago, according to the Kraftfahrtbundesamt (Federal Office for Motor Vehicles).
Additionally, Opel’s best-selling models — the Astra and Corsa — were among the ten best-selling models across Europe in 2013, reaching positions seven and eight, respectively. The subcompact Mokka, meanwhile, generated considerable interest and entered the market strongly, conquering second place in its segment for the full year. The Insignia, which received a midcycle refresh in the middle of 2013, was number two in its segment (not including premium competitors).
The UK remained Opel/Vauxhall’s single largest market in 2013, with the Insignia and Zafira finishing number one, and Corsa, Astra, and Mokka number two, in their respective segments. Opel also delivered strong results in its home market of Germany, where the Meriva stood out as the best seller in its segment. Notably, the Corsa and Astra beat their direct competitors to second place in their respective segments.
Furthermore, Opel finished 2013 with notable success in Hungary, where the brand led the passenger car market for the third year in a row. Opel reached the number three position in Austria and Greece, registering the highest market share of 6.98 percent in the last six years in Spain in the total vehicle market.
To much fanfare, the brand discontinued sales operations in Australia only 11 months after launching in the country, but continuing to expand its product portfolio in South Africa as part of a “renewed focus on the brand”, while strengthening its recent entry into select South American markets.
Going forward, Opel should have no issues to grow in Europe in 2014 now that General Motors has decided to discontinue offering Chevrolet models in mainstream vehicle segments in the region, thereby eliminating any internal competition that may have existed before the change.