Sep 15, 2015
Rüsselsheim/Frankfurt. The 66th International Motor Show in Frankfurt started for Opel with the world premiere of the new generation Astra earlier today. It also marks the start of a new era for the company. “Our new Astra is the best Opel we have ever built and it represents a real quantum leap for Opel in a number of ways,” said Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann in his opening words to the visitors of the official press conference in the Astra Galaxy. “The entire team has done an outstanding job on the new Astra. It’s another chapter in our comeback story.” The eleventh generation Opel compact class car is not only lighter, more agile and more efficient than ever before – it also comes with features previous only known from higher segments. After unveiling the 5-door Astra, the Opel Group CEO was joined on the stage of the more than 3,300m2 Opel booth D09 in hall 8.0 by General Motors CEO Mary Barra for the reveal of the Astra Sports Tourer. With around 30,000 orders to date, the car is already a huge success even though it will only be officially launched on October 10.
General Motors’ Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra went on to announce some important news on the European product and model offensive. “We will speed up the model offensive at Opel/Vauxhall: From 2016 to 2020, we will launch 29 new vehicles including an electric vehicle and a second flagship alongside the Insignia. This all-new SUV will be produced in Rüsselsheim by the end of decade and will give the brand a further technological boost.” The goal for the future is clearly defined: Opel/Vauxhall have their sets firmly set on becoming the second largest automaker on the European market by 2022 after securing third place on the European Union passenger car market last year.
One of the key technologies moving forward is autonomous driving – something GM and Opel are working on aggressively. “We’ll see more changes in the auto industry in the next five to ten years than we saw in the past 50 years,” said Barra who also outlined that a world with zero crashes was the vision. “The new Opel Astra with all its active safety systems is an important step into that direction,” she added.
The latest Opel compact class generation shows exactly how quick a vision can become reality. “With the new Astra, we realize a new vehicle philosophy that we presented here at the IAA two years ago in the form of the Monza Concept. Compact exterior, spacious interior with a lean and athletic design and trendsetting digital connectivity,” said Dr. Neumann when explaining the key features of the potential compact class bestseller.
Keyword efficiency: The latest generation Astra is based on a new lightweight vehicle architecture. Each component was looked at with regard to mass optimization resulting in the new model being up to 200 kilograms lighter than the outgoing version. The powerful, fuel efficient and clean latest generation engines are the perfect match. “The new engines propel the Astra to the top of its segment,” added Dr. Neumann.
Keyword connectivity: The Rüsselsheim-based carmaker has introduced groundbreaking connectivity solutions with the new generation IntelliLink infotainment systems that are now compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto along with Opel OnStar. The personal connectivity and service assistant is a guardian angel and service provider. Up to seven mobile devices can be connected to the Wi-Fi Hotspot that comes with a powerful onboard antenna. “OnStar is unique in Europe. Opel is a trendsetter in this area once again,” said Dr. Neumann.
However, that is not all, with the new Astra continuing to “upset the luxury class” as stated in the advertising campaign. The new Astra is the first ever vehicle in the compact class to offer the intelligent, glare-free IntelliLux LED® matrix light system. It addition, it comes with a host of innovative driver assistance systems and practical details. The tailgate on the Astra Sports Tourer, for example, can now be opened and closed with a kicking motion under the rear bumper.
“We are continuing to pursue our philosophy of offering technologies from the luxury class to all Opel customers at affordable prices,“ explained Neumann. “The new Astra is also first-in-class when it comes to total cost of ownership. You see: The new efficiency really pays off.”
The Astra Galaxy will also welcome some illustrious guests from the footballing world in the upcoming days. Brand ambassador Jürgen Klopp will kick things off on Saturday, September 19. He will hand over the proceeds from the sale of a BVB-ADAM to the charity “Ein Herz for Kinder” (A heart for children). In addition, he will join Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann for the presentation of the new Astra advertising campaign from 11.00 CET. The team and management of Mainz 05 will join Peter Christian Küspert, Vice President Sales & Aftersales Opel Group, from 11.00 CET the following day. Borussia Dortmund supremo Hans-Joachim Watzke, new Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel and three Borussia players will be interviewed at the booth from 14:00 CET on Thursday, September 24. And on Sunday, September 27 a Bayer 04 Leverkusen delegation led by coach Roger Schmidt and sporting director Rudi Völler will visit the Astra Galaxy from 11:00 CET.
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