When comparing to any of its previous generation models, it seems Vauxhall (Opel in the rest of Europe) must have hired a new designer some years ago. And guess what? The man knows what he’s doing!
Any new Vauxhall coming to the market has consistently been blessed with a pretty face, while at the same time the designs seem more timeless. In other words, they don’t become butt ugly once you’ve seen ‘em on the roads more than a few times. Think back about the old Vectra and you’ll be able to fully appreciate the shift in design quality that has taken place at the German – yes, let’s face it, most Vauxhalls are designed and developed in Germany – carmaker.
Still, the company is struggling as its core market – Europe – is still in a recession and due to the shear battering this has given them, automotive sales don’t seem to have the strength to get back up. Especially the brands that are selling ‘normal’ cars, e.g. Vauxhall/Opel, Citroen, Renault, Peugeot and Ford, seem to be hit the hardest on our continent. Consequently, competition is fierce.
Now, Ford has introduced its new Focus in three different body shapes; a normal hatchback, a wagon and a sedan, i.e. a hatchback with a bum. And of course VW has its Jetta. Don’t see too many of either of those in the Netherlands, but I’m sure other European markets will appreciate their voluminous hindquarters more. After all, the Dutch seem to focus more on a couple of good headlights if you catch my drift.
Anyway, as it turns out, Opel wouldn’t stay behind. Though it’s still going to go on sale in the Lowlands, I doubt Opel designed the new Astra with buttocks with us in mind. But having seen the pictures, I have to admit the Astra’s new butt injections do look good.
I have a feeling the UK market isn’t so different from the Dutch. I guess we’ll both stick to our headlights.