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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

First Opel Service Station Opened

A Russian firm authorized to sell Opel cars opened Moscow's first Opel service center Tuesday in a bid to boost sales of the German-made cars in Russia.

"A modern auto business cannot exist without the auto service business," said Nikolai Saloshin, general director of Autoimport, a medium-size car dealer authorized since 1991 to sell Opel cars on the Russian market.

"We know that our sales depend on the technical support and the level of service we provide, as well as on our price policy," he said. "We believe that this new station will help us to grow on the market."

Saloshin said that while only 200 new Opel cars were sold by authorized dealers in Russia last year, there are about 200,000 older models on the road in Russia. "These are all our potential customers," he said.

Tuesday's opening featured several antique Opel cars lovingly restored by their Russian owners to underscore Russia's affinity for foreign automobiles.

Adam Opel AG is the German subsidiary of the U.S. auto giant General Motors. Opel has no ownership stake in the station, but will support it through advertising campaigns. Opel also trained the station's 30 mechanics.

"It was our suggestion to create the station, and being a smart company they picked it up quickly," said Litz Wenzel, district manager for General Motors European Sales Operations. "The station is built in strict accordance with our standards."

Saloshin said the station will be equipped with special diagnostic computers that are the first of their kind in Russia.

"The computer connected to a car will list the problems on the display along with instructions for the mechanic," Saloshin said. "This saves a lot of time for the customer."