City car boosts Opel’s European market share image

General Motors brands Opel and Vauxhall increased their market share in Europe in 2013, as sales of the new Adam city car helped counter a declining auto market.

Opel has struggled to retain market share in recent years, suffering from management disruption and a scarcity of new products. It launched the Adam a year ago in an attempt to recover in Europe, where an economic crisis has steered customers toward smaller, cheaper-to-run cars.

Opel said on Monday, citing preliminary sales figures, that Opel and UK sister brand Vauxhall had a European market share of 5.61 % in 2013, up from 5.59 % in 2012. In Germany – Europe’s biggest auto market – Opel expanded its market share to 7 percent from 6.9 percent, it said.

The increase comes amid a continued decline in overall sales in Europe, where the auto market is expected to have contracted by 25 percent, or 4.3 million vehicles, in 2013 from 2007 levels, analysts at Moody’s Investors Service said.

Pan-European sales figures for different brands have not yet been published. The European Automobile Manufacturers Association is set to release European car registration figures for 2013 on January 16.

Peter Christian Kuespert, Opel’s vice president of sales and after-sales, said the introduction of the Adam had helped boost deliveries. Sales of the city car exceeded expectations, recording 21,000 new registrations in Germany in 2013, he said. Sales of the Mokka compact offroader reached around 20,000.

The Adam fits into Europe’s small car or subcompact segment – the biggest slice of the market, totaling about a quarter of new car registrations last year, according to data from JATO Dynamics.

Via Reuters