The big numbers roll off the tongue like the latest turnover at a Las Vegas casino, or maybe Real Madrid’s transfer budget.
But here we’re talking cars – in particular one of the most popular ever built and sold in the UK.
It’s no wonder the Vauxhall Astra has become a household name when you realise that one in four British drivers has owned one and that three million have been sold in all, 50,000 in the past 12 months.
Such is Vauxhall owner General Motors’ confidence in the latest seventh generation Astra that the company’s Ellesmere Port factory in Cheshire has been given a new long-term contract and £140m investment that guarantees 2,000 jobs at the Cheshire plant over the next decade.
At present it takes around 24 hours to build an Astra from sheet steel to the finished article, a time expected to reduce to 22 hours as production grows.
And the estimate is that in 2016 the facility will build 680 Astras per day with further growth in subsequent years.
No doubt then, this a massively important model to Vauxhall, one that not only has to battle established rivals from Ford, Peugeot, Renault and Volkswagen but also the fresh wave of value for money hatchbacks from brands like Kia and Hyundai.
When the new Astra hits UK showrooms next month it will cost up to £2,200 less than the outgoing version. Prices start at £15,295.
A simplified line-up see the range comprise Design, Tech Line, Energy, SRi and Elite trim grades, with Nav versions of the SRi and Elite spec also available.
Vauxhall reckons the SRi will take the lion’s share of sales, with diesels slightly outselling petrol models for fleet buyers, though retail sales will be dominated by petrol versions.
Engines include the 1.0-litre three-cylinder Turbo Start/Stop ecoFLEX model priced from £15,995 and with an Easytronic five-speed automatic transmission, the same Astra achieves a CO2 emissions of just 96g/km.
The flagship 1.6-litre 200PS model is available in SRi trim costing from £20,435 and there’s also a 1.6-litre ‘Whisper Diesel’ 110PS Start/Stop ecoFLEX model from £17,495 with the potential for 91.1mpg and emissions of 82g/km.
Smaller outside, bigger inside and up to 200kg lighter than before, the new Astra is inspired by the Monza concept of 2013 and has been given a more lean and athletic appeal by British designer Mark Adams.
While the wheelbase has been reduced by 2cm the amount of space inside the car has actually increased, to the point that rear passengers can enjoy an extra 35mm of legroom.
And the distance between the front and rear seats has been increased for added comfort and space.
New Astra is also the first Vauxhall to feature OnStar technology with its high-speed 4G LTE mobile network, emergency response notification and stolen vehicle recovery alert.
Vauxhall chief Tim Tozer said: “The Vauxhall Astra has been one of Britain’s best-selling and most-loved cars produced for over three decades.
“The next generation Astra not only continues to drive this legacy and celebrate the strong British heritage of the brand, but is also a key investment for the home of the Astra – Ellesmere Port – and celebrating the workers who have built the vehicle to world class levels of quality and productivity, making it a household name.”