Opel is a well known car manufacturer from Germany. Their headquarters is in Russelsheim, Hesse. But, what few people actually know is that they are a subsidiary of a French automotive company Groupe PSA.
They are solely focused on manufacturing, designing, engineering, and distributing their Opel-branded vehicles, along with light commercial vehicles, and vehicle parts. They operate mostly in Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America, but their brand is of course present all over the World.
The company began manufacturing the Astra line since 1991. It is a small, compact family car engineered and designed as Opel’s best answer to the needs of the family.
In the United Kingdom, this model is branded as the Vauxhall Astra, while it is called Buick Excelle XT in China.
The model had least success in Australia in 2009.where it was discontinued because of the exchange rates. It briefly returned in 2012. And was branded Opel for the first time, but Opel completely withdrew from Australia a year later and the model was discontinued again. However, in 2014, Opel announced that the Astra VXR and GTC will return to Australia and New Zealand in 2015.
The making of
The Astra name came from Vauxhall which manufactured and marketed the early models of Opel Kadett from 1979-1984 and also Kadett E from 1984-1991. It was due to the GM Europe policy tied to the model nomenclature that the model names had to be the same in all markets, no matter if the vehicle was sold as Opel or Vauxhall.
Opel had four Astra generations up until 2009. They were all named with subsequent alphabet letters, as it is Opel’s tradition to do so. But, this also goes in hand with Opel’s official convention, and they claim that the Astra is simply a logical continuation of Kadett series. It is for this reason the first Astra generation is named F, because the last Kadett model was E. the GM however completely neglect this and have designated the first Astra model as Astra A, because they treat is as a separate model. Also, same models sold under the Vauxhall, Chevrolet, or the Holden name have their own different designations, that are again reflections of their own traditional naming history in their own home markets.
So, it is concluded that this model is quite the versatile one, being manufactured and sold under numerous different names, designations, and brands. But, be that as it may, Astra is a well known name anywhere in the World, and Opel is certainly treating it as their own crown jewel.