On this day in auto history - November 14th

Sat 14th Nov 2020

It was on this day in 1979 that Vauxhall officially launched its new Astra range of hatchbacks and estates to the British market.

Introduced as a replacement for the long-running Vauxhall Viva, the Astra was Vauxhall’s first model to have front-wheel drive and proved an instant hit with buyers in the family car segment without seriously challenging the authority of the phenomenally popular Ford Escort. 

Initially imported from Opel factories in Germany and Belgium, Astra production switched to Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant in November 1981 and the vehicle boomed in popularity after a well-received styling overhaul in 1984 which saw it crowned European Car of The Year in 1985.

Now on its seventh generation, the Astra has regularly charted as Britain’s second-best selling vehicle annually behind various Ford models and its enduring appeal has meant that it recently became the third best-selling car in UK history as it closes in on three million total sales.

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