Opel/Saturn Astra

July 05, 2008

Interesting, I just noticed that what is known (and has been for like a decade or so) as the "Opel Astra" in Europe is sold here in the US under the Saturn brand name, making it the Saturn Astra:

Both Saturn and Opel are brands under the hood of General Motors, so there's no big surprise here. What's more interesting is that 4-dollars-a-gallon seem to be making American car buyers interested in smaller European-style cars quite a bit more than they used to.

Also, the very same cars (sold under the same or a different brand name, doesn't matter) are much more affordable over here. The abovementioned Astra can be bought for 18.000 US dollars on this side of the big pond, while you'll have to cough up 20.000 Euros (that's about 30.000 dollars) easily for the same car in continental Europe.

The usual excuse for higher car prices in Europe used to be "the European customer wants higher quality than the American one" -- when the very same car is concerned though, this argument is hardly convincing.

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