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First Look: 2010 Opel Astra

New car for a(n almost) new company.

by on Sep.15, 2009

A new car for an almost-new company, the 2010 Opel Astra.

A new car for an almost-new company, the 2010 Opel Astra, will go on sale in late 2009.

Think of the 2010 Opel Astra as a new car for a new company.  Well, almost, but the German maker’s 10th-generation compact car will make its debut just as General Motors sells off a controlling stake in its once-formidable European subsidiary,

The sale, which will transfer a 65% stake in Opel to the Canadian supplier, Magna, and Opel’s union workers, dominated the maker’s news conference at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, but for those who looked a little closer, there was other news to be found at the Frankfurt Messe.

The Astra would be a critical product, no matter who owned Opel, considering the compact line accounts for a third of the German maker’s sales volume.  Opel is betting that the updated hatchback, shown in Frankfurt, will help pull the company out of its worsening financial situation.

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Like a number of other new models debuting in Frankfurt, Opel designers opted for a coupe-like roofline for the hatchback Astra.  It gives the vehicle both a more dynamic, and more sensual appearance, and adds a family resemblance to Opel’s new, top-line model, the Insignia.

“In many ways, it’s a smaller Insignia,” suggested Opel CEO Carl-Peter Forster.