The mid-size SUV segment in Western Europe has consistently grown in the last five years, with the exception of a slight dip during the global economic crisis in 2009. The SUV share of the entire passenger car market nearly doubled during this time.
Feb 7, 2011
The mid-size SUV segment in Western Europe has consistently grown in the last five years, with the exception of a slight dip during the global economic crisis in 2009. The SUV share of the entire passenger car market nearly doubled during this time, from 2.2 percent (2005) to 4.2 percent (January – October 2010).
Research indicates that further growth is expected in this segment in the coming years. This vehicle class benefits from emotional factors like increasing status value compared to conventional sedans and station wagons, versatility and the ability to leave the beaten path – in this case paved roads – if necessary.
A further factor is the changing demographics in the European population. SUV and crossover models like the Antara are particularly popular among older customers who value the comfortable entry and egress as well as the increased feeling of safety offered by the higher seating position in these cars.
Strong competitive position with FlexFix bicycle carrier and an attractive price
With its chic looks, improved powertrain line-up, active chassis set-up and upscale practical interior, the Opel Antara has a strong competitive position. The new crossover’s target groups are mostly in the progressive middle and social climber milieus, where an affinity for technology and progress is often very pronounced.
Many of these buyers pursue an active lifestyle, and with its integrated FlexFix bicycle carrier system, the Antara offers this group an unrivalled competitive advantage. This is underlined by the attractive value for money it offers: the 123 kW/167 hp 2.4 ECOTEC gasoline unit in the Selection version with front-wheel drive is a very affordable entry level into the Antara model line for a base price of 26,780 euros.
Product strategy: Stronger presence in SUV segment
The Antara’s all-around update showcases Opel’s strategy to put more focus on existing traditions, potential and expertise and to revitalize them with attractive products. In this case the tradition is based on the Frontera that was built between 1991 and 2003, and the upgraded Antara represents a fresh start. The SUV and crossover segment will play a more important role in the brand’s product portfolio with the goal of strengthening Opel’s position in the European automotive market. The next step in this direction is the compact SUV planned for 2012.
“The Antara is not just a significantly improved car,” says Alain Visser, Vice President Marketing, Sales and Aftersales. “It is also the kick-off for our return to the SUV segment. The Opel brand will be stronger and more present in this vehicle class in the future.”
The European market strategy for the Antara foresees sales of 15,000 units in its debut year 2011; thereafter annual sales of 20,000 are planned. Around 80 percent of sales are expected in the British, German, Italian and Russian markets. The 163 hp diesel variant is expected to be the biggest seller, accounting for around 75 percent of sales.
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