Some quite big news emerged from the Detroit Auto Show early this morning with Holden boss Mike Devereux announcing, “Opel will be sold as a stand-alone brand in Australia for the first time in 2012.
â€œOpel presents a new opportunity for GM in Australia with a growing demand for German design and technology at affordable prices.”
Previous Opel-sourced models to sell in Australia, re-badged as Holdens, include the Corsa (known locally as Barina), Astra and Vectra. It will be these three models, or their current replacements, that will find their way down under, as well.
The entry level Corsa, Astra and mid-size Insignia models have all undergone considerable upgrades in the last 18 months or so and the Insignia was voted the 2009 European Car of the Year. All three will be welcome additions to the local market.
Opel’s product plans for each model are unknown at this stage. However, they bring with them a broad range of options, including wagon versions of the Astra and Insignia, as well as performance variants of all three models.
Holden will assist its sister brand to gain a market presence, which will presumably take place in the form of utlising the local dealer network.
You can keep up to date with developments by registering at the new Opel Australia website.
Today’s official press release is available after the break. Although, one question does remain unanswered; do you think Australian Opel owners will rush out to modify their cars with Holden badges?
Opel To Launch In Australia
General Motorsâ€™ premium European brand Opel is set to enter the Australian market in 2012.
Opel CEO Nick Reilly and Holden Chairman and Managing Director Mike Devereux announced the Opel export program to Australian media at the North American International Auto Show on behalf of GM today.
Mr Devereux said Opel nameplates like Astra enjoyed a long and popular history in Australia.
â€œOpel will be sold as a stand-alone brand in Australia for the first time in 2012, but Australian drivers have a strong affinity with Opel vehicles like Astra which were previously sold under the Holden brand,â€ he said.
â€œOpel presents a new opportunity for GM in Australia with a growing demand for German design and technology at affordable prices.
â€œWe look forward to supporting our sister brand establish itself as a strong competitor in the growing premium European segment.â€
Mr Reilly said Australia played a key role in the brandâ€™s international strategy and was one of three new markets, including Israel and Chile, announced in recent weeks.
â€œAustralia is one of the most important new opportunities for Opel as we continue to reposition Opel as a global European brand in markets like the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and South America,â€ he said.
â€œThe interest from Australian media and public already has been extremely encouraging.
â€œOur German engineering heritage, award-winning design and sporty and efficient performance will help position Opel as a premium alternative in new international markets like Australia.â€
The Australian portfolio will include the new generation Opel vehicles Insignia, European Car of the Year 2009, award-winning Astra and the recently upgraded Corsa with the complete model line-up and dealer network to be announced closer to launch.
People can register their interest in Opel Australia at: www.opel-australia.com.au
*Note: Interior shots have been sourced from the Vauxhall press archives so as to show each car in a RHD layout.