FRANKFURT -- Adam Opel AG said Monday that it had sold 25 percent more cars in Germany in January than the previous year, outperforming a sliding market.
The company, a unit of General Motors, in the midst of a turnaround plan involving job cuts and a range of new products, sold 28,620 vehicles in Germany last month, while its market share in a shrinking Western European market rose to 9.35 percent from 8.78.
Opel's market position had long been on the slide as it suffered from a staid product lineup, heavy discounting and a weak domestic market. Its German market share fell to 10.4 percent from 11.9 in 2002.
Its January sales figures benefited from a low base for comparison last year before its updated Vectra saloon, one of its best-selling models, was launched in spring 2002. It is also pinning its hopes on forthcoming niche models such as its Meriva minivan, Signum luxury hatchback and a roadster coupe sports car.
January was a bad month for new-car sales in Germany and Europe, according to preliminary data from forecaster J.D. Power LMC.
The U.K. group said last week that car sales in Western Europe slumped 6.8 percent last month due to the unpromising economic environment, while sales in the region's biggest car market, Germany, slipped more than 5 percent.
Germany's VDA car industry group has said 2003 is likely to be another tough year for the country's carmakers, with stagnant demand at home and a contraction in the U.S. market. It said incoming orders were broadly flat at the end of 2002.
VDA will report January German sales figures early this week.