The following list of events should tell you a thing or two about GM’s leadership and their vision, at least in Australia, so take note:
-In the 1990s and 2000s, Holden sold rebadged Opels in Australia
-In September of 2012, GM introduced Opel and its range of models to Australia
-In August of 2013, GM pulled the plug on Opel in Australia.
-In May of 2014, GM announced that four Opel models will return to Australia and New Zealand as re-badged Holdens in the first half of 2015.
The Opel cars selected by GM’s brass for Australia and New Zealand are the Cascada convertible, the Astra GTC and VXR three-door hatches, and the Insignia VXR, which is similar to the Buick Regal GS in North America.
Naturally, GM’s choice to use the Holden and Vauxhall’s VXR (OPC for Opel) monikers instead of the HSV nameplate has raised some questions about the future of the latter, as pointed out by The Motor Report.
The Astra GTC and Cascada will get a 1.6-liter turbo charged four cylinder that produces 125kW (168hp) and 280Nm, while the Astra VXR a 206kW (276hp) and 400Nm 2.0-liter turbo four paired to a six-speed manual. The Insignia VXR will use the same Australian-built 2.8-liter twin turbo V6 producing 239kW (320hp) and 435Nm as the Insignia OPC in Europe.
Speaking at a press conference at Holden HQ at Fishermans Bend today, GM Executive Vice President and President Stefan Jacoby said:
“Holden is one of the strongest brands in Australia and the introduction of the Astra, Cascada and Insignia to the portfolio in 2015 will be a great addition. We are determined to offer Australian and New Zealand customers the best possible products that we can source from our global operations, as we build a strong future for Holden.”
Holden’s newly appointed Chairman and Managing Director Gerry Dorizas, commented:
“Astra, Cascada and Insigina will be niche vehicles in terms of volume for our company, and their performance credentials and premium execution are a perfect match for Holden and will provide yet more fantastic choice for our customers.
By John Halas
Shout out to Matt J. for the submission!