FRANKFURT – Opel, the European unit of General Motors Co., exported around 34,000 German-made cars to the U.S. in 2010.
The exact figure of exported Buick Regals – the sister model of Opel's Insignia – is 33,669 units, the company says.
Opel began exports to the U.S. in March 2010 and they form an important part of the company's strategy to reduce dependance on the European market.
In addition to the Buick Regals that Opel has shipped to the U.S., the GM subsidiary has delivered 12,351 Opel cars to regions outside Europe, such as China.
"In total, the number of exports to markets outside Europe amount to 46,020 cars,'' an Opel spokesman said. ''In the mid-term we expect about 100,000 exports per year,'' he added. Employee representative and Opel deputy chairman Klaus Franz expects even more at 170,000 units in 2012.
In China – the world's biggest car market – Opel will increase it's product portfolio with models such as the Astra Sports Tourer and Insignia Sports Tourer and aims to expand its dealer network. In 2010, China sales of Opel cars were just around a 1,000 units.
Opel sales in Europe in 2010 were – according to preliminary figures received by Automotive News Europe – around 1.18 million cars, compared with 1.2 million in 2009.
The biggest market for Opel was the UK with 274,000 sales, followed by Germany (229,000 sales), Italy (132,000), France (103,000) and Spain (76,000).