GM’s Opel Reports Best Sales Since 2011 as Russian Market Weighs

General Motors Co.’s European Opel unit reported its best sales and highest market share in the region since 2011 last year even as declining demand in Russia weighed on results.

Opel and British sister brand Vauxhall delivered 1.08 million vehicles in Europe, up 3 percent, the Ruesselsheim, Germany-based unit said in an e-mailed statement today.

“Russia is one of our most important markets,” sales chief Christian Kuespert said in the statement. “Opel is obviously suffering from the ruble devaluation and buying resistance. That we managed to increase our sales on a pan-European level in 2014 fuels our optimism for this year.”

Opel’s market share in Europe edged up 0.1 percentage point to 5.74 percent.

As part of its effort to return to profitability by mid-decade the only money-losing GM division is rolling out a revamped version of its Corsa small car later this month. It received 85,000 orders for the vehicle, Opel said today. The new entry-level model Karl will be introduced in the summer and a fresh version of the compact Astra hatchback is due to hit showrooms at the end of this year.

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