The 10 millionth Opel Astra rolled off the assembly line today in Bochum, Germany – a Silver Lightning Astra Station Wagon 1.7 CDTI equipped with special features to celebrate this extraordinary production milestone.
With more than 500,000 models sold last year in Europe alone, Astra is the absolute best-selling car in the Opel palette and follows in the footsteps of Opel’s Kadett and the brand’s tradition of building quality compact cars.
“The Astra is synonymous with Opel. Its success is also a recognition of our expertise in the compact segment in which Opel has been playing a pioneering role since 1936 and the launch of the first Kadett” says Opel Managing Director Hans H. Demant. “The Astra symbolizes our brand; offering bold design, versatility and advanced technology that meets customer needs. And it is fun to drive.
Worldwide success story began in 1991
The Astra era began August 12, 1991 when the first model – a magma-red station wagon – left the Bochum plant. Opel adopted the name “Astra” from the car’s sister model in the United Kingdom. Vauxhall had renamed the Kadett to Astra in 1980 when the fourth-generation of the compact class car was launched. With ten million units produced worldwide, the Astra is a long-established bestseller in almost 80 countries. And, it can proudly display an array of awards.
In 2008, the Astra GTC with its panorama windshield was singled out as a stylish trendsetter when it was named “Most Fashionable Vehicle” among imported cars in China. A design center in Germany awarded its “Red Spot for High Design Quality” to Astra in 1998. And, in 2001, The Swedish ‘Gröna Bilister’ (“Green Drivers”) Association recommended the Astra 1.6 16V as a “Good Environmental Choice” based on its low emissions.
In addition, three Astra model lines hold a host of sales records. The first generation (1991 - 1998) is still the best-selling Opel model ever: 4.13 million units were produced (excluding Opel Classic), breaking the record of 3.8 million held by the Kadett E (1984 - 1991). The second Astra generation launched in the spring of 1998 also boasts an impressive production figure of 3.8 million units. That model continues to be built in Gliwice, Poland as the Astra Classic. The third generation was launched in March 2004 and is well on the way to following in its predecessors’ footsteps: Already 1.9 million units have been sold.
The front-wheel drive Astra is produced in eight plants on two continents. In Europe, the current models are built in Bochum, Germany; Antwerp, Belgium; Ellesmere Port, United Kingdom and Gliwice, Poland. As a truly global car, the Astra is also fully or partially assembled in Russia, the Ukraine, Brazil and Serbia. It also is the first compact class model since the Kadett B that is sold in the USA. The Saturn Astra is built in Antwerp, and hit dealerships in the USA and Canada in the closing months of 2007.
The British buy the most Astras. Last year, 119,082 units were sold in the U.K. The second-largest market is Germany (74,226), followed by Italy (43,128) and Spain (41,282). The most popular Astra in Western Europe is the 1.6 ECOTEC model Enjoy.
In Germany, the Astra station wagon held the top spot in 2007, selling better than any other compact wagon.
Today’s Astra: Pioneering technological innovation in the compact class
The Astra continues Opel’s tradition of providing quality compact cars at an affordable price. It is a rite that began with the Doctor’s Car in the 1930s and really took off with the mythic Kadett in the 1960s.
Today’s Astra is distinguished by its progressive design and high driving dynamics at an affordable price. It offers innovative technical solutions that are not givens in this class of car. Included in these technical highlights are the Adaptive Forward Lighting (AFL) headlamp system with dynamic curve light, an advancement in which Opel was a segment leader, and the adaptive IDSPlus chassis system with electronic Continuous Dampening Control (CDC) – usually only found in luxury class and exclusive sports cars. The Astra also provides passengers with plenty of storage space.
A further plus point of the Astra family is its wide and varied model range, more diverse than almost any other model line. This enables customers to configure their car exactly the way they want, meeting all their needs.
Options are extensive, and depending on the country can include:
- Seven models — five-door fastback, three-door GTC, notchback sedan, station wagon, TwinTop, OPC and the AstraVan delivery van. In addition, the Astra G-based “Classic” notchback sedan is sold in certain markets.
- Twelve engines — from economical 1.3 CDTI ecoFLEX turbo-diesel direct-injection unit with an MVEG combined consumption of 5.1 liters per 100 km to 177 kW/240 hp turbocharged gasoline engine, which takes the OPC variant which is capable of reaching 100 km/h in 6.4 seconds.
- Six transmissions — five and six-speed manual, five and six-speed Easytronic, four and six-speed automatic transmissions
- Six equipment lines — including the new INNOVATION version, which features technology components such as AFL bi-xenon curve light as standard
Customers can further individualize their Astra with a choice of 90 options, a selection of packages and original Opel accessories. Altogether, these offer customers almost limitless possibilities to create their “dream car”.