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Yanase & Co. introduced on Thursday the fully remodeled Astra from Adam Opel AG, a German affiliate of U.S.-based General Motors Corp.

The new Astra, with an engine displacement of 1,800cc, will hit the Japanese market on Saturday, according to Yanase. The new version comes in five-door hatchback and wagon models, and Yanase hopes to sell a total of 2,700 units by the end of September.

The five-door hatchback is priced at 2.3 million yen, while the wagon is priced at 2.45 million yen. The Japanese prices are reportedly about 300,000 yen lower than in Germany, the firm said. The new model has side air bags as standard equipment and is guaranteed to be rustproof for 12 years.

Amid lackluster auto sales in Japan, imported car sales are suffering even more from the recent economic slump. Domestic sales of Opel vehicles are likely to drop to around 30,000 units in the current business year that will end in September, well below the initial target of 42,000 units, according to Yanase President Takahide Inayama.

Yanase hopes to stimulate its sales with the new model. Sales of the previous Astra model have reached 3.8 million worldwide since its debut in 1991.


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