|A best seller in Europe, the Astra was a handsome car.|
Before the Astra even hit North American dealerships there were clear signs of trouble. General Motors predicted no more than 30 to 40,000 in first year sales. These sales numbers were much lower than those achieved by the poorly received Saturn Ion which the Astra replaced.
And even those mediocre numbers were too high. GM sold about 12,000 Astras in the States in 2008. With a 139-day supply of '08s, GM didn't even import the 2009 Astra into the U.S. Yes, I said import. Saturn, originally created to battle the imports, was itself an import at the end.
The Astra in a sense delivered on its promise in spades. It was supposed to sell poorly and it did. Now, GM is touting the Chevrolet Volt as a fine car but with predicted sales of possibly 10,000 units in its the first year.
The Chevrolet Volt is a nice car but with a price tag of $41,000 even the $7500 government rebate will not make it a success. At least, that's my opinion.