Fleet News

New Astra production stepped up as saloon is unveiled

VAUXHALL boosted its Astra range at the British International Motor Show with the launch of a saloon model. The unveiling of the four-door coincided with news that the manufacturer has now added a third daily shift to its production schedule at Ellesmere Port to meet massive European demand for the new Astra.

Plans for the extra shift were announced in the summer, and were forecast to create 850 new jobs. The new Astra saloon features a 460- litre boot, and will be available with same three petrol and two diesel engines which power the hatchback range when it goes on sale in November. At 4.25 metres in length, it is 14 centimetres (5.5 inches) longer than the hatchback, and features a drag coefficient of just 0.29.

Bill Parfitt, Vauxhall's fleet operations director, forecast that the four-door Astra will only account for 2% of the range's sales, but said it was important for Vauxhall to cover all customer requirements in the lower medium sector. 'Astra has got off to an outstanding start,' he said. 'Supply is improving, although we would like a greater supply of some models such as the diesel and estate.'

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