Loading indicator
News & Reviews
Last 7 Days

by Jez Spinks

Holden’s German sister brand Opel is exiting the Australian market after less than a year, saying it couldn’t make a profitable business case going forward.

Opel Australia confirmed the news to CarAdvice after a source revealed the brand was planning to cease sales operations in the country.

The company has since made the news official, saying it has commenced plans to wind down its network with immediate effect. CarAdvice understands at least one of Opel’s 20 national dealerships has ceased trading today and has removed cars from its showroom lot.

Opel launched its brand in Australia in August 2012, but with sales not starting until 1st September 2012 – with the Corsa city car, Astra hatchback and Insignia medium car.

CORSA 5 dr front static

Senior management in Germany claimed the company could find 15,000 annual sales by 2015, but Opel has sold only 989 cars to June 2013 – 114 less than niche sports car maker Porsche.

Opel Australia spokeswoman Michelle Lang told CarAdvice the decision to shut operations locally was handed down from Germany this week.

“There are reasons they [Opel Germany] gave us, but there were a set of circumstances in the market we were launching into when when we did the business case last year – the goalposts got completely moved.

“The segments we need to be selling our volume into are so incredibly competitive now, and that’s what changed in a way that’s invalidated the entire business case. We don’t see those changes as being sustained, and [Opel Germany] does, too.

“We’ve had to reposition cars, particularly the Astra, to such a degree that we’re just not going to be profitable. Regardless of volume, it’s a question of profitability and sustained profitability.”

The Astra was Opel’s biggest hope to help the brand establish itself in Australia, as a nameplate familiar to Australians having been a rebadged Holden for decades.

Opel Insignia OPC

Lang says there’s no definitive timing for the operations wind-down, but adds that Opel Australia is working closely with employees, dealers and suppliers as it begins the process.

Opel Australia says customer obligations will be met, and the customer assistance centre can be contacted on 1800 993 677 for help with any concerns.

Opel is now working with Holden to see if any of the German brand’s models have the potential to become rebadged as a “Holden-badged niche product”.

The company was due to launch the Opel Zafira people-mover next week as part of plans to expand the range but has understandably cancelled the event.

  • supercujo

    Who didn’t see this coming? Anyone?

    Haven’t seen a single one on the road.

    • Stark

      Seen maybe 3 insignias, but not near enough to get any attention!

    • DreamSomniac

      Ive actually seen many. Mostly Insignias in suburbia, the Corsa and Astra in the CBD region. But surprisingly the OPC Astra and Corsa are quite popular mainly on the Northshore and in the city.

    • Opelman

      Open your eyes! If you haven’t seen one, I wouldn’t wanna be on the road with you!

    • Superbee440

      pull your head out of your you know what then and take a look around….

      • Tom

        Actually you all need to pull your head out. Unless every single one of the 1500 Opels that were sold in the last 12 months were sold in your piddly little suburb then I suggest you rethink your stupid comments. Going on the votes supercujo is on the money. I haven’t seen one on the road either. Nowhere!!! This is why they pulled out you idiots, NO SALES. Unless you seeing phantom Opels that no one else sees.

        • Smart US

          i have seen Opel about 3-4 times in whole year…

        • Superbee440

          All hail Lord Tom….because he hasn’t seen an Opel, they don’t exisit!!!

          • $29896495

            A bit like if a tree falls in the woods…..

    • Smart US

      well anyone who could see the business model based on High Au$ could see this coming…

      • $29896495

        It appears judging by another persons comment on the OPC Megan test that Opel didn’t bring many cars out and weren’t interested in bringing any more. So points more strongly to this not being a genuine attempt to enter our market.

  • Stark

    Will be interesting to hear the reasoning behind this (obviously sales weren’t as projected). Thing is, i don’t think the marketing was any good, the most i saw were the odd roadside billboard and maybe a short ad before a movie at the cinemas.
    Wonder what the after sales services will be like when they’re gone for all the current owners?

    • supercujo

      They have been pushing the OPC brands on Fox Sports lately. Never seen an ad anywhere else.

    • Sharon

      I’ve seen dozens of ads on Seven, Ten and Nine in Sydney. Wir Leben Autos is pretty ingrained in my mind due to the advertisements.

      • $29896495

        But no dealers means no where to buy them. Putting the cart before the horse.

        • dsfk

          Yeah – it’s hard to imagine a more lukewarmily received launch than the first few years of Skoda’s reintroduction, but Opel managed to do just that.

          • sjtyj

            It would’ve been far more warmly received had they offered the “lifetime” warranty that other countries get instead of the most basic 3 year one.

          • ijsd

            I doubt it – you can offer as long as a warranty as you like, but it won’t mean much if most people aren’t aware of it.

          • Steve Mid

            Life time warranty would have been required to overcome their reputation as an unreliable expensive to fix poorly designed piece of junk. I can’t think of a car that has a worse reputation with mechanics than the Opel Vectra. Previous owners would be very much “once bitten twice shy” as well.

        • Igomi Watabi

          That’s the thing, isn’t it? Where I am, the advertising has been full-on, on the TV, in the nwespapers, etc. But the dealer (who also sells Fords, Nissans, VWs etc) gave Opel a small vacant block up the street from the main dealership.
          I also think that Opel made a mistake with their pricing and targetting, which seems to be based on the VW approach from a short time back of convincing naive Australians that they are paying extra for a premium brand, then selling them the same old boggo stuff that Eurpoaeans throw away as worthless after five years.

          • $29896495

            Very true. They didn’t learn from VW either, who in the end had to drop prices to normal to make sales. It would have been great to see them take off but I don’t think they were serious.

      • Dominique Vøn Hütch

        Yeah seen heaps of advertising – execution ok but the, hey remember us…or I’m familar i’m Astra was desperate imo. Let consumers make the connection about the nameplate for themselves. Shame, loved seeing Astras – prefer them to Golfs, wished they’d stuck it out.

        • jdks

          The Astra is a stunning car. I would’ve loved to see the next-gen model here.

          • Peter Pebbles Stone

            I think stunning is taking it a bit too far. I was looking forward to seeing the new range over time as they brought out a range that was a big long in the tooth, this would also have played a large part in the lack of sales…

    • GFYS

      I have a banner add of the OPC Range on this article right now ironically.

  • Cv

    Let me guess they wanted to sell in Australia as a premium brand.

    • O123

      exactly. They should have aimed lower, Shame as the Mokka would have sold well

      • hljs

        Don’t worry, we’re getting the Trax anyway and that will probably sell 10x more than the Mokka would’ve mustered under any circumstances. Because Holden.

        • $29896495

          Essentially in fact is an Opel too – which could be where the decision to leave comes from, if you think about it.

  • Rick

    They were too expensive it’s no surprise that they are going

  • awal

    I knew they were doing badly, but surely they could have helped it with some mad discounting? It took years for Skoda to gain any traction here,i reckon they should have waited it out a bit longer instead of bailing so fast.

    • $29896495

      Expecting overnight success, with no dealers.

      • Zaccy16

        The local Geelong dealer said to me a month ago that they were going to expand! Very short lived

    • birdseye

      I suspect that Opel has huge financial problems regardless of the country!

  • Sonic

    Nice going Australia…

    Stick a Holden badge on them, and I’m sure they would have sold like hotcakes. This is sad news.

    • barry

      Good comment,agreed.

    • Alfa156Melb

      Couldn’t agree more.. we’ve been selling opels for years, we juts called them Holdens. Ignorance is bliss.

    • Rocket

      Stick a Holden badge on a dog turd and you will get a Queue a mile long.

      • azlan

        they pretty much do with some of them haha

      • Igomi Watabi

        What a load of rubbish. Isn’t the impending closure of Holden’s manufacturing in Australia due to the fact that this is, in fact, not the case? It’s not 1985 any more.

    • Opelman

      Totally agree, wasn’t Bogan enough for them!

      • gtrxuone

        Do you think they should of sold under the Holden badge.A relative had a Bertone Astra with an electric roof.Fantastic car,easy to work on not German complex.Also traded with dealer who gave excellent trade in.

        • http://www.bryanbyrtrenault.com.au/ Modern Man

          UMMMM. This was an Opel in Europe built in Germany.
          Are you saying that when they change a badge suddenly they become easier to service as well?
          You , my friend are showing the ignorance of Holden buyers.

          • $29896495

            What in your mind makes them hard to service?

          • Steve Mid

            It is all a matter of reputation. Vectra B was an amasingly difficult car to work on. As said elsewhere the whole front bumper needs of come off to get the radiator out and the bottom bolt for the air box is almost completely inaccessible. (needs to come out to do the timing belt. Many other rubbish design elements have earned the Opel product a terrible reputation with mechanics.

          • $29896495

            So how often do you change your radiator – You didn’t even own it – this is second hand information and not unusual any way in modern cars they aren’t the only one. Often cases you are meant to come at them from underneath. but someone who doesn’t know a car will gladly over charge to get something out the wrong way. most mechanics have terrible reputations period so it balances out huh. Like I wrote above. You are talking about a very old car. I owned an Opel and never encountered those issues. But I also looked after mine and didn’t use dodgy mechanics.

          • Steve Mid

            Daughters Vectra B is in my driveway as I type. 126,000km great condition except for blown head gasket. Given to us as “beyond economic repair” if paying for labor. I have been a mechanic for 35 years and seen many makes and models few are as irritating to work on as GM Europe cars. I also have a Calibra that I enjoy as a toy and my daily drive is a Diesel Cruze. I guess you have just written off all your comments as trash talk with your “you didn’t even own it” BS. Your opinions are now officially worthless.

        • Karl Sass

          Easy to work on? I doubt it.

          • $29896495

            You doubt it why? Lot of talk, don’t see anyone backing it up yet.

          • Karl Sass

            The comment was in comparison to a Commodore, European cars in general tend to be less user friendly to work and are more likely to use timing belts instead of chains etc. Compounded by the fact that FWD limits access to the engine bay. Although the Cruze probably isn’t much different. However I dare suggest that sourcing parts for a Cruze will be cheaper than a Euro built Astra.

          • $29896495

            Well that includes any front wheel drive which is just about everything. Seeing Astra and cruze share basic underskin architecture hopefully the people who purchased the cars will have easy access with a bit of lateral thought. As for belts and chains, 90% of manufacturers use belts the koreans belts do have a tendency to fail early. I personally prefer a chain. After having a Holden which threw it’s belt early, the SRI had a chain, and other than the issues created by Holden service was very well built and very reliable and VERY easy to service.

          • Karl Sass

            Yes I agree with you there, I was more so talking about the increased difficulty in working on, rather than servicing them.

          • $29896495

            Just to add to that> You think a Cruze is hard to work on?

          • gtrxuone

            The model I’m talking about was a 2004 or o5.

          • $29896495

            Saying they are hard to service comes from people who have no experience of them. They are actually very straight forward.

          • ThatGuy

            They do seem easy to work on, just not easy enough for Holden mechanics.

  • Karl Sass

    Holden should switch from producing the Cruze to the Astra IMO. They share underpinnings. The Australian market is saturated considering we have 23 million people, I wonder if the FBT change had anything to do with this?

    • $29896495

      Good idea, and no. Hate to keep repeating myself but no dealers means no sales. One dealer in Parra for the whole of western Sydney. People at Penrith would knock it on the head as to much trouble. But outer Sydney is where they should have been chasing sales.

      • gtrxuone

        Wonder why they didn’t sell as Opels with existing Holden dealers.

        • $29896495

          That would have been the sensible thing to do or any chain. The more show rooms getting bums on seats the more sales. Easy.

          • Karl Sass

            Remember some customers are under the impression that European = premium, they couldn’t possibly be associated with ‘Holden!

    • Zaccy16

      I agree, the Astra is a much better more quality car than the cruze

    • birdseye

      Agreed! The Cruze is the dog turd that rocket is talking about and the Colorado looks like one that has been stored up for a week ;0

    • Dam

      Not going to happen. Unlike the Cruze, the Astra is living on borrowed time. GM insiders know its only a matter of time before the plug is pulled on Opel.

      • $29896495

        You know that’s an interesting comment. Opel are the style and handling leader of GM and most design work is done through them. Even now the new cruze has been taken away from the Koreans and US and is being developed by Opel, and has an incredible resemblance to Opels.

    • LowRezFez

      Agreed, a much better idea.

  • barry

    Opels car where good,pricing was sharp.They made the decision to stay under the German name plate.Selling under the Holden name worked well last time.

  • Genesis1


  • guest


  • Jr

    Will be good for resale values

    • Rocky

      That’s a bit of a positive for the owners… its going to be somewhat of a ‘limited edition’ later on

  • Nathan

    Weird, I see at least a few nearly every day where I am (Newcastle)

  • Rocky

    Wonder what will happen to current owners of the new series…. warranties, service vouchers, fixed servicing, on going maintenance…?

    • Dave

      I’m sure Holden will take it over. Feel sorry for the owners though, depreciation disaster!

  • Rocky

    I think they are good cars, better than the cruze counterpart, but offcourse you pay a bit more. Their sales projections were likely too aggressive for the market to begin with.

  • StevieP

    Opel Germany didn’t even give them a chance. You need time to launch a brand in a new market – even if the Astra nameplate resonates well with Australia.

    • Rocky

      I agree, they could have scaled down first to minimise damage while sales are low as opposed to just pulling out entirely

      • StevieP

        Yeah, and they have so much new product coming in soon. Surely the Mokka could help improve brand image, considering Australia’s love affair with compact SUVs.

        • sfghsfgh

          Offering the “lifetime” warranty that they have in other countries would’ve given them a huge standout factor here in Australia but no, we get a crappy 3 year one.

  • Angelo


  • JD

    AUD dropping is a contributing factor. Yet alone the advertising budget they had. I never saw an opel ad.

    It just shows you cant charge a premium, just because there is a german badge on it. I wonder whether VW sales are still dwindling.

  • Teggy

    The Astra is a much better looking car than the Cruze, and at least there is a performance option. If I bought a Cruze I’d fall asleep due to boredom every time I drove it.

    Opel should have given it a lot longer, considering how many older Astras and Vectras you see around. I’m sure sales would have picked up before too long.

  • crouchy35

    Basically they realized that to sell in volumes they would have had to reduce to a price that was unprofitable.

    15,000 sales by 2015? I think we all knew that was never going to happen.

  • azlan

    if holden continue to go down fords track in australian manufacturing this might be a good thing for holden to take up again, these cars are better than anything holden currently produce.

  • Dave

    A pretty pathetic knee-jerk reaction Opel. Feel sorry for the current owners. Renault and Skoda are examples of brands taking years to establish themselves…

  • $29896495

    As mentioned below, Holden should start selling these cars again. The FULL range. As for meeting with dealers, they could do that in a phone booth or Corsa. bit of a joke really, Proton have more dealers. Glad I didn’t buy one. But sad to see them go.

    • Zaccy16

      I agree, the Opel cars are way better than the sub par Korean badged holdens! Holden might be able to sell them cheaper too!

      • birdseye

        For sure!!!

  • Glass Half Empty

    Way too overpriced! I work at an Opel dealership and they’ve put more on as company drive cars… Oh and this is the first I’ve heard of them pulling out, lol

    • Jacob

      What are your job prospects now?

      • Glass Half Empty

        Might try a Chinese brand

  • Neil_Way

    As others have mentioned, Opel aimed far too high with their pricing strategy. In order to avoid competition with the Holden, GM set Opel up for failure against the likes of VW and Peugoet.

    I wonder if this spells trouble for the Opel brand as a whole?

    • $29896495

      In Germany Opel are reviled for some reason as are Vauxhall in the UK (Also Opel).

      • birdseye

        Maybe because they are American, a wee bit bit of history between them?!

        • $29896495

          Possibly, they get superior reviews to VWs by german testers but it always comes back to the dislike of the brand it self.

  • Obvious!

    Sad but bound to happen. I predict Infinity to be next. How do expect to launch a new brand that not that many people have heard of at a premium price? Who’s going to risk it? not many it seems. Way too many brands here in Australia at the moment. We so don’t need Skoda either. If you want to buy a crappy VW product just buy a VW.
    These company’s that bring in over priced cars to try and capitalise on already established brands over inflated prices (BMW, Benz, Porsche etc…) just isn’t going to happen.
    We may not be the clever nation anymore but where not f**** stupid!
    You want to establish yourself here properly, look at what Fiat, Alfa, Chrysler & Renault are doing. Yes they are dropping prices!

    • Zaccy16

      Infinity have just released a new add so they might stay abit longer

  • Zaccy16

    Big shock! They were good cars specially the good looking gtc an opc! There main problem IMO was that they brought in cars that were not new models and sold them for too high prices, the corsa is much better than the horrible barina but still has sub par engines and trannys compared to the polo and other light cars

    • nugsdad

      No they were not. Just drove a fair amount in an Insignia and it was rubbish

  • F1orce

    Lets get to the core issue. With the exception of the OPC badged cars, the rest of the lineup was bland and overpriced.

    The OPC are good, but way overpriced.

    So the key word here is OVERPRICED

    Why do all companies think that Australia is some cash cow, ripping us off.

    Opel was very profitable here, but they were too greedy and wanted more and the reality wasn’t as rosy as their fantasy.

    • Tone

      When I first saw this article, my first reaction was ‘looks like Fiat have claimed their first scalp’.

      • awal

        hahaha! Yes!

        If they priced themselves as aggressively as Fiat/Alfa/Chrysler/Jeeps has, im certain they’d have sales. It’s working for the Fiat Chrysler group and it would have worked for Opel too considering they have better products than most Fiat Chrysler products.

  • Tone

    Obviously Opel’s marketing department didn’t get the memo. There’s an ad for the Opel OPC range at the very top of this article!

    • Karl Sass

      Hahaha whoops!

    • birdseye

      heh heh :)

  • steve

    Why oh Why did GM allow Opel to enter the australian market ???
    honestly… Holden should of kept the opel based Astra and Barina as they are much better cars than the equivalent models holden are trying to sell.

    wouldnt surprise me if GM are thinking of pushing the chevrolet and caddilac brands into australia
    if that happens, you can kiss the holden nameplate goodbye,

    • Shak

      GM dont need the Chevrolet badge. They have Holden here. If you haven’t realised we already have a Holden line up almost entirely based off of global Chevrolets, with the exception of the Commodore and OUR Cruze. Cadillac seems like good fit for our market as GM dont really have anything that can sell in the volume luxury segment in Australia.

      • Igomi Watabi

        having considered Cadillac for the Australian market several times in the not too distant past and decided against it, I don’t imagine they’ll be looking at it again at a time of economic downturn.

        • Shak

          You’re not wrong. Although, and this is just my optimism getting the better of my logic, considering that GM wants to re-establish Cadillac as the standard of the world it would be a good idea for them to enter more global markets. China and the US just wont cut it for a global brand.

          • Karl Sass

            I think Infiniti’s crazy pricing has opened an opportunity for Cadillac to come in and do a Chrysler and offer a good car at a good price. Although maybe it’s too similar to Holden?

  • dlunn64

    We were looking forward to the Cascada soft top as it looks a fantastic car.

  • klowik

    OPel should just sell the cars online. This not only lowers the operation cost and overhead of dealership network but it can also sell to customers with more competitive pricing.

  • Robert Ryan

    Just did not make sense to begin with. 60 makes for 1.1 miliion cars sold..ridiculous.

  • Phil

    Opel have enough problems of their own to deal with in Europe. Their best chance is to have HSV handle distribution and marketing for the OPC line and forget the rest.

  • Jon


  • Jake

    A shame really, was looking forward to what they would bring to our roads over the next few years. I don’t think it was wise to leave so soon, but it was clear they were never really committed in the first place. Some of their dealerships are nothing more than an outside lot with a sign stuck on the fence, not the look of a premium brand – especially in a market flooded with over 65 Brands. And the fact is, they had to sell at a premium price to make it viable to import them, it’s why Holden moved to Daewoo sourced cars, because they could no longer sell the Opel cars at the Holden price point.

    I wonder how they would have gone if they joined with existing Holden dealerships as a premium offering, would have been a great way to compare quality to price.

  • Michael

    Opel Australia mistakingly pitched themselves in the market as a “niche” brand. Opel around the world or as Vauxhalls in the UK are marketed as ordinary vehicles, which is what they are. Astra as Holden was marketed as an average car with Toyota and Mazda and sold good numbers. Opel should’ve done the same. Such a pity the brand was incorrectly marketed and extremely overpriced.

    • JHP

      but so is volkswagen, they are considered as ordinary vehicle in europe and they are doing so much better than opel here in australia even with a massive price hike.

      • $29896495

        That’s why VW had to drop it’s prices.

  • Zandit75

    I only just seen the first Opel Astra OPC style Coupe a couple of weeks ago here in Tassie.
    It was a breath of fresh air to see it on the roads since it stood out in its bright yellow paintwork. And what also made it look so good was the fact that it looks like nothing else on the road….Doesn’t look generic like most other brands.
    Disappointing to hear that they will only be around in such limited numbers.

  • CRL

    Not even the OPC’s?
    Let’s hope Holden take the OPC’s into their family.

  • Butch

    This is despicable, I feel sorry for all the dealers that
    have spent thousands of dollars to build dealerships. Typical Holden though,
    first it was Cadillac, Saab, Hummer and now Opel. Opel should have taken a long
    term view as it will destroy their brand image in Australia and it would have
    helped them diversify. Just look at PSA they are hurting because they have not
    diversified outside of Europe and now Opel has just wasted millions of dollars.
    I feel sorry for all the people who bought an Opel and suspect the only one
    laughing is Volkswagen!

    • Phil

      Holden had nothing to do with Opel’s decision to enter or leave this market, that was Opel’s alone. Nor was Holden to blame for the other brands. Saab and Hummer sold in numbers a hillbilly could count on his teeth, sorry tooth 😉

      As for Opel’s brand image – they’ve not had one here, haven’t been here long enough to establish one, and won’t be back so what the handful of people that are aware of them think after this debacle doesn’t count for squat anyway.

      • Butch

        Really? Holden obviously played a huge part the Cruze is
        performing poorly and the last thing they need is another competitor that is
        eating into their sales. Remember Cadillac’s introduction into Australia?
        Dealers were all ready then at the last minute they pulled out, cars were in
        the country. Holden = Kiss of death!

        • Phil

          The 14 dealers they signed up in Australia and NZ agreed it was a good idea not to sell Cadillac. Wrong product at the wrong time. Yes, I do remember. 2009, when GM filed for chapter 11.

          It was Opel’s decision to price as a premium product, above the Cruze and others. Holden was the least of their worries, they needed to persuade people out of Mazda and VW showrooms. It was a classic case of mismanagement, aiming too high too quickly. Only one to blame is themselves for having ridiculous expectations in a highly competitive market. Seriously, who just turns up and expects to sell over 1000 units a month without an extensive dealer network or brand recognition?

  • Dave W

    No wonder they’re losing billions. Wasted so much money setting up operation and now wasting more money shutting it down after just a year.

    • JooberJCW

      Agree, GM has poor business sense and administers their subsidiaries poorly

      • Asg

        Maybe Opel will ask for govt subsidy “to keep Aus jobs”? I see Rudd signing a check for a few hundred million dollars and call it “savng Aus jobs”.

  • MisterZed

    The Corsa and Astra could not be profitably sold by Holden, so why did Opel think they stood a chance with a completely unknown name in Australia?

    • DAVIDZ


      • MisterZed

        It’s way better than your EA Falcon.

  • MisterZed

    Hmm, how then can Proton profitably sell vehicles in Australia when they’ve only sold about 250 cars in the first 6 months of this year, compared with Opel’s 900?

    • duglet

      made in malaysia, cheap and they dont try to sell as a premium brand…a bit like Chery…

      Opel were never going to do well as a premium *niche* brand…..just sell like everyone else as a normal everyday brand/car.

  • pol

    This is what happens when you introduce exactly same car in different shells and try to charge $2000 more.

    • JHP

      toyota and volkswagen does same thing with lexus and audi, and they are doing great.

      • pol

        because Australia consumers are stupid enough to buy Lexux and Audi, which have some more extra features and gimmicks over their parents brands, but not dumb enough to buy exactly a same car which is not built in Australia anyway.

  • azlan

    if they didnt do a deal with holden previously i think opel would do better in todays market coz they could get away with being a higher end brand. but holden cheapened them to the australian market. so now trying to appear more of an expensive brand doesnt work because australian still see them as holdens…

    • Tone

      … because that’s what they are. German Holdens. Opel vehicles are not ‘premium’ by any stretch.

      • azlan

        i understand that, but they tried to market themselves as a premium car brand… my point was that they tried to market themselves this time round as a premium brand after they have already shown they are equal to holdens. if they didnt do that deal with holden to begin with they would have had a better chance at marketing opel like they were more premium and exclusive and maybe been more successful.
        i didnt say they were premium, but opel tried to marketing themsleves like they were and it obviously doesnt work.

        • JooberJCW

          People were accustomed them being of the holden badge of the past, now coming from less known Opel namesake, and then marketed as premium, people now see it as a rip-off.

          As mentioned earlier, with low volume imports you need to sell at a premium especially if you sell it independently by its own and not leveraging existing networks.

          But on the other end, if they sold it with the holden badge, that would just canabalise cruze sales, especially when they see in the showroom the inferior cruze sitting next to a better car of the Astras.

          • azlan

            i agree.

  • Hew85

    Sad news.. they seemed to be nice quality cars but way overpriced for what they are really worth..

    Next in line is probably going to be INFINITI (unless they adopt a more price competitive approach)

    • Asg

      Yes, Opels were overpriced – but so are every other brand in Aust. Actually, they were priced just as they were in the US. At least, here we get an Opel and not a Buick.

  • LC

    I feel sorry for the Opel owners who are facing an uncertain future now that there’ll be no dealer support and nowhere to get warranty repairs done on their cars.

    If there are any, that is.

  • The Realist

    Infinity you’re next!!! sharpen your pencils or GTFO

  • Autoholic

    Higher prices, no SUV, market saturation and Australia’s low population density (people not as willing to take a chance on new car brands with unknown reliability) and it starts to make sense. Shame really, the Astra looks much better than many other hatchbacks.

  • LowRezFez

    I considered an Astra and then bailed on a Honda Civic hatch. The main reason was that the car was ok, but had the same drivetrain as a Cruise, older Astras and Vectras have a patchy reliability and running cost reputation and to be frank, I’m just not enamoured by the whole superior German engineering tripe (after owing a string of overpriced and unreliable euros). When I considered the price on top of all of this, it did not look good for Opel.

    • $29896495

      Like i’ve said before, there was nothing wrong with Opels quality or reliability. It came down to Holden service quality which is abysmal. I can tell you as an ex-SRI owner, it was never more reliable (In other words, Completely reliable) as to when it was kept away from Holden.

      • zahmad

        I can agree with you on that one! Similar experience to you but with a Toyota!

  • JJ

    And the Holdens keep failing.

    Getting the picture yet are we?

  • Tom C

    Not surprised, last september went to the dealer in South Yarra Victoria. Only the window cleaner was their to chat, said the dealers would be back within 10 minutes, after a 30 minute wait I bought a focus that afternoon.

  • Blizzard

    why doesnt Toyota help out? They have bucket and bucket loads of cash

  • Stephen Ward

    Thank goodness that M.G. are about to step in and start selling cars to fill the void… Hmmmm…

  • drew76

    This is such a shame. GM really are a dogs breakfast.
    Hopefully Holden will view this as a massive opportunity to sell decent product
    and get some credibility again. Just like the UK, GM should have introduced Chevrolet
    (I.e. Cruze, Spark and all the other junk) as a discount brand and left Holden,
    like Vauxhall in the UK, as the middle of the road brand. I’ve bought several
    Holdens (all Opel products) but would never in a million years buy their Korean
    product. Everyone knows what hatchback should have been making its way down the
    production line at Fishermans Bend and it most certainly isn’t the Cruze.

  • peterino

    With no dealers how did they sell cars?

  • Andy Whitby

    Well lets get serious here, no one was going to pay a premium for the Astra. It was always marketed at a Holden price, and that price became associated with the badge. The tried to ride the history of the badge, that badge came with the history of an assumed price point.

  • Anthony Mindel

    Over the years Holden sold many rebadged Opels,which were unreliable,eg Astra,Barina,Vectra,and Zafira,and that actually gave the range a BAD image.

    • $29896495

      How were they unreliable?

    • 42 = The Answer

      I had an Astra for 2+ years and it never skipped a beat

    • Barry


      I knew a holden mechanic that said “never buy a model that ends with an ‘A’ “. That also included Camira and Captiva.

  • South Yarra

    I think Opel/GM will be sued through the eyeballs as most dealers invested millions of dollars in new showrooms specifically for Opel. All throughout QLD, VIC, NSW and WA dealers have built amazing showrooms and some are still being built as we speak. What about the dealers? What about the customers who now have dud cars with limited resale value? Opel would have known many months ago that they would cease operations so why did they let dealers build $3M showrooms?

    • Homer

      Read the article about the new Fiesta ST at $25,990. Opel should have realized that the corsa & Astra – in Europe at least – are just everyday cars and not “prestige” barnds. They come to Australia and tty to emulate what VW do to us. Of course a good recipe for poor sales volume. Teach anothert lesson to those arrogant euro manufacturer. Shower, pack up and leave our stadium looser.

      • $29896495

        They knew, GM masters also knew. but they called the shots. Probably restricted their growth and pricing strategy and in the end probably pulled the plug. Opel and Holden are really little more than pawns.

    • Barry

      Now they can be sold as “limited editions” at a premium!

  • BP

    No! No!!!! Why??? I wanted them to succeed so bad :(
    From what I gathered, they set themselves a too big a task ahead of them in terms of sales projections. With Zafira and Mokka on the way, they would’ve only increased from there.
    It’s sad to see Opel leave, but then I look forward to see what Holden will do with their range of cars. I think the Zafira Tourer could slot right in to Holden’s range, but Astra and Cruze couldn’t compete with each other. We’ll have to wait and see I guess.

  • Nick richardson

    Inspirational idiocy. Do they even have a marketing director or anything? Brand awareness for a new car brand takes alot longer than 10 months. Pure idiocy on the part of OPEL’s management. Why bother investing at all if you cannot even stick out at least two years. It is after all a car and not a fast food product that can be phased out easily

  • Ted

    A shame but to expensive against other peers. Opel should look after buyers that have bought, as far as resale value is concerned – I would hate to have sell a Opel and who would want it.

  • Doc

    Make that – “Opel: We’re Leavin Also”.

  • Norm

    ….”the goalposts got completely moved”? One can only suspect from the deathly pall over the Opel stand at the last motor show that the goalposts were never where they thought they were.

    • Barry

      Moved? More like Removed!

  • Shane

    ‘Infiniti’ is going to be next

  • Wolowitz

    Just an excuse to ask Kevin rudd for some govt handout at election time to “save Aust jobs”. Well played, GM.

    • Polemic

      Even Kevin Bludd won’t savem

      • Spendin’ Kevin

        Sure, he could. He can use taxpayer $$$ to buy all the remaining Opel inventory and give them to asylum seekers. Show the Greens he is “caring” and make Holden some $$$$. It is election time, time to spend OPM – other people’s money, baybeeee!!!

        • $29896495

          If you’re going to try and mock something you should at least get your facts correct. If all the stock was bought, it would go to GM via Opel, not Holden. Asylum seekers are a problem for both parties each of which throws money at it. (started by John Howard) Both parties have an election allowance of the peoples money. baybee!!

          • Barry

            And you were sucked in, hook, line and sinker! It’s called humor daffey!
            September 7 say good-bye Kevin!

          • $29896495

            It’s only humour if it’s funny. Get it.

          • Cory

            And its only funny if youre smart enough to get it. Wink!

          • $29896495

            Oh I understood that he or you were wrong, there fore the whole point is lost. Wink! Trying to be a smart *ss doesn’t make you a comedian.

          • Sheldon

            But only Crudd can use YOUR credit card to borrow billions to splurge so he appears to be doing something. He and Julia have not been governing, they were simply throwing money at problems hoping they will go away. In private business, they would have been fired long ago.

  • Pug

    More sales for Peugeot 508.

  • Tony Abbotts No1 Fan

    This is a real shame, they are great looking cars, especially the Astra OPC, but it does take time to establish a brand following, given that they were now branded as Opels & not Holden.
    It would seem Opel in Germany just didnt have the time to do this & they probably under estimated how long it would take to get established here, given low dealer numbers. It took Skoda a long time to establish themselves here & even now I wouldnt say its a well known brand compared to others.
    Maybe in the market segments Opel were chasing here, its a case if its not Korean, pretty much kiss it goodbye.
    Oh….& by the way, 7 Sept…no boloney

  • bumblebee

    ugly boring outdated looking and too expensive so a surprise but not a surprise … how embarrassing for them all that PR for nothing …… i think the next generations look heaps better and may be they should have waited and launched with a more modern looking sassy fleet. BTW ive seen only one Astra thats it. Story starts and ends there.

    • mike

      You sound like you have a chip on your shoulder.

  • OSU811

    I have seen maybe 3 Astra’s and Two Insignias in the last 12 months on the road. but that’s it!! shame really as they are both good looking cars imo..

  • John

    Just because you are German doesn’t mean you are good, go home.

  • blackie

    not surprising really, having 30 years in the motor repair trade, I’ve seen more than my share of dramatic european holden mechanical failures, nice cars when they are going but rubbish really especially engines. When you think about it, the only decent 4 cylinder holdens have been made by toyota!

  • Liam

    Insignia OPC is much better looking and performig than MB C class, and much better value.

  • ThatGuy

    They could have asked me this 1 year ago and I would have told them this. I’ve also never seen one on the road. Take note Infinity as you will be lucky to last 2 years. Better off selling the couple of decent infinity models as Nissans from Japan.

  • JM

    12 months is simply not enough time for a new brand to penetrate an engagement with the market. Skoda is a good example of a brand which has stuck it out and is now deriving market acceptance. Importantly, their sales are growing and the business now turns a profit. It took time, money and sustained effort to get there, but Skoda shows that it can be done.

  • Steve Mid

    As has been said elsewhere, Opel didn’t sell because of their reputation. Previous Opel cars have been unreliable and expensive to fix. Parts are harder to get and more expensive than BMW or Mercedes parts. From a workshop point of view their design is horrible. For instance on a Vectra B the entire front bumper has to come off to change the radiator and the bottom bolt on the air box is almost completely inaccessible. Opels are among the worst cars in the world to work on. For those who don’t know the air box has to come out to change the timing belt. A 100,000km service task.

    • $29896495

      This is a bit pointless. I’m an ex Opel owner and never had a problem with the car itself. You’re bringing up one car which a qualified service tech may not have had an issue with. Also great excuse from a mechanic to say needed to take the front off – here’s the bill. But they aren’t the only car brand that could require such dramatic action on a car. As for service items, just about every car these days will require you to dismantle half the engine bay to replace certain things. It’s the nature of the beast. On the other hand you are talking about a car at least four models old and hardly relevant. Opel was removed from Australia as a warning by GM. Even with limited outlets their sales were steadily increasing. Other than people like you who have never owned one, there are thousands of us who have and we liked them. It’s a pitty they are gone.

      • Steve Mid

        As per my comments elsewhere I currently have in the family a Vectra B, YE Calibra and a Cruze Diesel manual. I enjoy the Calibra as a toy car. The Vectra belongs to my Daughter and the Cruze (5.4L/100 to work and back!!) Calibra is quite ok to work on. The Vectra is very irritating. As far as your ignorant comments about “excuses” RTFM. Removing the bumper is what it says to do for models with aircon and it is the most efficient way to do the job. I enjoy my GM Euro trash as a hobby but would never recommend the brand to anyone else as I value my reputation as a mechanic. (this is called “informed comment”. Maybe you could learn something here?)

        • $29896495

          As I stated in several responses. It’s not the only car you have to do that with. As also stated your cars are very old, which accounts for what you are doing. Ac condensers on the majority of FWD cars require the dismantling of the front. Hondas for example. I stand by my comment. In reference to ignorance. You stated radiator. Not ACC. Either way, the Japanese and others depending on the car require major dismantling to get to those and other parts. It’s not Opel centric.

          • Steve Mid

            To clarify my comments the air con condenser fan assembly and the condenser it self are bolted to the radiator tanks on Vectra Bs and Cs not to the body work. That is why the bumper cover must come off. You cannot remove the radiator without unbolting the aircon condenser fan and condenser from the front. Bad design. No big deal for an owner doing his own work who has plenty of time but horrifying if you are paying labour. Surf the Vectra, Calibra and Astra forums and you will find about all sorts of weird stuff involved in working on these models. When these were new we didn’t have access to the wealth of info that is out there now. Not even the dealers had access to good procedures. The internet has made these cars viable for us enthusiast but the regular punter should give them a wide berth as a second hand car. And yes I accept that my Cruze 2011 Diesel will be worthless as a second hand car in 3 more years but then the warranty will be over and I can play :-). Same good chassis as the Astra. As with Calibras a huge aftermarket in parts and tuning options. A lot of fun to be had with modifications. I like my Opels too but recommend them to a non enthusiast? Not a chance! Sorry to see them go? A little. would have considered trading the Cruze on a diesel manual Astra if the change over had been a little better.

          • $29896495

            Look it’s not the only car. just about all Hondas you have to take the front end off to do what you are talking about. Infact there are Fords. As I said you are complaining about something which has become necessary with the limited space in modern FWD cars. It’s Not isolated to Opel Vectras and doesn’t make them a bad car. just typical.