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OPTICAL AND HEARING
The 2006 Vauxhall Zafira.
Read more about the new Vauxhall Zafira here.
15th July, 2005
General Motors (GM) sold over 1,063,000 vehicles in Europe in the first half of 2005, an increase of more than 23,000 or 2.3% over the same period last year. GM’s share of the largely stagnant European market rose from 9.5 to 9.7 percent.
GM’s biggest volume brands in Europe, Opel and Vauxhall, achieved total sales of 878,500 vehicles, up from 875,038 a year earlier. Their combined share of the total European market increased from 8.01 to 8.03 percent. Vauxhall’s share of a contracting United Kingdom market grew from 13.01 to 13.97 percent with sales in the first half of the year reaching 204,600 compared with 200,498 a year earlier. Opel, too, performed well in its home market, outpacing German auto industry growth (2.55%) with sales up five percent at 190,000 after 181,000 in the first six months of 2004. The increase in volume resulted in Opel’s share of the German market reaching 10.33% after 10.06 percent at the same time last year. Opel and Vauxhall’s best-selling carline was the Astra with sales of 287,800 in the first sixth months of the year, accounting for 2.6% of the total European vehicle market.
“It is particularly gratifying to see our volume brands, Opel and Vauxhall doing so well in their home markets. In both cases, we are growing faster than the industry average,” said Jonathan Browning, GM Europe’s Vice-President of Sales, Marketing and Aftersales. “With the new Zafira just arriving at European showrooms this month, we aim to keep up the momentum for the rest of the year.”
Chevrolet continued its strong growth across Europe in the first half of the year, with total sales of 117,000, a 25 percent increase over the same period a year earlier (93,550). After 0.86 percent half-way through 2004, Chevrolet’s share of the total European market has now reached 1.07 percent. While Italy remains Chevrolet’s largest market in Europe with sales of 16,000 cars and a market share of 1.22 percent in the first six months of the year, growth was particularly strong in Central and Eastern Europe (107 percent). Chevrolet’s most important product for this year, the new Matiz (Spark in some markets) was launched in May and achieved total sales of over 7,300 by the end of June.
Saab’s performance varied across Europe in the first half of the year. In the United Kingdom, sales increased by 41 percent reaching an all-time high of 13,970 vehicles and a best-ever market share of 1.08 percent. Although Saab also achieved significant sales increases in Ireland (12%), Germany (5%) and other smaller markets, this growth was offset by declining sales in other regions. Total half-year sales for Saab in Europe fell to 40,600 compared with 43,355 a year earlier with market share slipping from 0.4 to 0.37 percent.
General Motors’ luxury brands, Cadillac, Corvette and Hummer, performed well in their respective niche markets in the first half of the year. Corvette sales of 575 were almost three times as high as a year earlier while Cadillac’s European sales doubled to reach just over one thousand at the end of June. The new Corvette convertible and Cadillac STS arrived at European showrooms in June. Hummer’s sales of the H1 and H2 remained stable at just under 200. The new Hummer H3 goes on sale in Europe later this year, ahead of its 2007 release in Australia.