In one of his first moves on the job, General Motors' new European marketing chief, Alain Visser, cut the advertising budget for the new Astra.
In the first quarter, GM spent more than E12 million advertising the Astra in Germany alone, compared with Volkswagen's E8 million budget for the Golf.
But Visser has reduced Astra advertising budgets, even though the three-door and station wagon versions have not yet been introduced.
"It's important that we keep the focus on all of our product lines. We should not become the Astra motor company," he said in a phone interview.
"It is not our strategy to dominate in the media landscape. We've obviously had a focus on the launch, but once we've generated a satisfactory level of awareness then the [Astra] product will speak for itself," he says. "We have competitive price positioning and a good dealership body across Europe: that should be enough."
Visser wants a more aggressive, innovative marketing policy to "add sexiness" to the Opel/Vauxhall brand but says that parent GM is not planning to move away from traditional Opel values of quality and value for money.
"It is not Opel's objective to become a premium brand," Visser says.
He says GM believes "the Opel image has not progressed as rapidly as the product."
His key objective is to change that image in European markets, including the 10 new countries that joined the EU on May 1.
"I'm trying to come out with creative concepts that, maybe, are somewhat unexpected for a brand like Opel," says Visser.
"This brand deserves a far more aggressive and innovative marketing policy. What we're trying to do is add some more sexiness to the brand in terms of design, innovation and creativity."
The new Astra will have a central role in helping to create a younger and more dynamic Opel image, he says.
Visser, 40, was appointed Opel board member in charge of Euro-pean marketing in June, just six months after joining GM as executive director, sales development projects, from Ford of Europe.
Visser stresses that a change of marketing strategy does not involve redefining Opel as a brand.
"The Astra is confirmation of the Opel brand positioning," adds Visser. "We have good positioning and we need to stick to that."