General Motors’ European operations, housing Opel and Vauxhall, have lost a staggering $18 billion since 1999. For shareholders, that’s hard to cope with. But, GM is determined to turn a profit in the Euro zone. And analysts say the 2016 Opel Astra will be the most important part of that goal.
Long-term critic of Opel/Vauxhall operations, Professor Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, director of the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) at the University of Duisburg-Essen, had good things to say when looking at the 2016 Opel Astra.
“The Astra is very important if the 2016 (breakeven) target is to be achieved. The new Astra is very encouraging. It is lighter and larger inside than the old one and very attractive looking and with low fuel consumption. Its position versus main rivals like the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus will be much stronger than the old model,” Dudenhoeffer said in a report from The Detroit News.
Previously, GM Europe President, Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann, had stated a 2016 profit or break even point was secure. Now, following more trouble in the European market, he has eased on those words even after narrowing losses on the continent.
The program designed to revive Opel and Vauxhall, titled “DRIVE!2022“, includes a steadily rising market share to eight percent by 2022. Currently, Opel and Vauxhall hold 6.8 percent.
The 2016 Astra will launch shortly after its debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show this September.