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See also Vauxhall Astra and Holden Astra for the usage of the nameplate by other General Motors subsidiaries.
The Opel Astra is a small family car designed and manufactured by Opel, the European subsidiary of General Motors.
It is branded as an Opel in continental Europe, the Republic of Ireland, the Middle East, North Africa, Russia and South Africa, as Vauxhall in the United Kingdom, as Holden in Australasia, as Chevrolet in Latin America and as Saturn in the United States and Canada.
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The Astra is now built in Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Brazil, South Africa, Poland and Ukraine, as well as being assembled in complete knock down (CKD) kits in other countries.
As of 2006, there have been three generations of the vehicle. In a fashion typical for Opel models, they are designated with subsequent letters of the Latin alphabet. Opel's official convention is to continue the Opel Kadett lineage, thus referring to the first generation of Opel Astra as the Astra F (the last Opel Kadett was the Kadett E). Another convention used by GM starts with Astra A, adopting the notion that the Astra is a separate model. Models sold as Vauxhall, Holden or Chevrolet have different generation designations reflecting the history of those nameplates in their home markets and their naming conventions.
The Astra F debuted in 1991. With the Kadett E's successor, Opel adopted the Astra nameplate, which was already used by Vauxhall for the Kadett D and E (see Vauxhall Astra). It was offered as a three or five-door hatchback, a saloon (sedan), and an estate (wagon), known as the Caravan. A cabriolet was also offered, designed and built by Bertone in Italy. This car was offered in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as Turkey for name Astra Classic for 1998 to 2002. The Astra F finished production in 2002.
The model was launched in South Africa in 1992, where it was produced under licence by Delta. However, the Kadett name was retained for the Astra hatchback until 1999. The South African Astra included a variant with a 2.0L turbocharged engine called the 200tS which was produced in limited numbers in both sedan and hatchback guise. The engine (C20LET) in the 200tS was sourced from the Calibra 2.0 L turbo 4wd found on European markets, but local engineers converted the 6 speed drivetrain to front wheel drive only and as such was unique to that market. Sedan and station wagon models were offered under the Astra name. Controversially, the Kadett and Astra in South Africa won the title of 'Car of the Year' in two consecutive years (1993 and 1994) even though they were versions of the same car. South African nomenclature was denoted in decilitres, so the Astra and Kadett ranges featured 140, 160i, 180i and 200i models.
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