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The Holden Epica medium sedan will be axed and replaced by an all-new model in 2012, as Holden aims to become competitive in the Toyota Camry-dominated medium segment.

Holden Chairman and Managing Director Mike Devereux, who is currently in Detroit for the 2011 North American International Auto Show, said the Epica would be replaced by short-wheel base version of the Epsilon II platform.

Holden spokeswomen Emma Watts confirmed the Epica nameplate would be discontinued and a new model was on the way.

Ms Watts could not confirm, however, exactly where the Epica replacement would be sourced from or what vehicle it would be based on.

What is known is that the vehicle will not be a rebadged version of the Opel Insignia, as its price would be too high to be competitive in the segment.

One possibility is that the new medium Holden could be based on the upcoming 2012 Chevrolet Malibu, which by that time will be a completely redesigned model.

Whatever model is chosen, it is likely it will be sourced from GM DAT (GM Daewoo Auto & Technology) in South Korea, like the Epica.

The new vehicle will almost certainly be offered with a four-cylinder petrol engine, an option currently missing from the range.

The Epica is currently sold with a 2.5-litre inline six-cylinder petrol engine and a 2.0-litre turbo diesel.

Holden managed to sell just 1842 Epicas in 2010, representing just three percent of the sub-$60,000 medium car segment. More than 25,000 examples of the market-leading Toyota Camry were sold in 2010, which accounted for just over 40 percent of the segment.

The Epica has been one of the brand’s most disappointing models since its arrival in 2007.

  • Duckula

    Dont think there will be many people at the Funeral…


    amen to that.but what is this,speculation week.what is replacing it? surely holden already knows…

    its hard yakka competing in this class.holden will have to do alot better than in the past.the badge won’t count like it has before…

    • Devil’s Advocate

      It sure is a tough class and one of the toughest out there IMHO. It will have to be something special to compete on equal footing with cars like the Accord Euro, Ford Mondeo, Mazda6, Subaru Liberty and Suzuki Kizashi to name a few…

    • jojo

      Like C/A said it will most likely be a Chevy Malibu which from what I have read is not a bad car in that segment at all unlike the tragis epica POS.

  • Devil’s Advocate

    Just one small detail Tim, the Epica is a straight 6 and not a V6.

    • http://www.caradvice.com.au Tim Beissmann

      Right you are, DA. Amended now. Thanks for the tip.

      • Devil’s Advocate


  • rentakeyboard

    The all new 2012 Chevy Malibu (not the car pictured above) is going into production in SthKorea in the third quarter of this year!

    Dont know what car it will be based on? pfft!

  • http://www.formalcars.com.au Tony

    They need to build the Torana! Medium sized rear wheel drive car with eco models and a HSV version.

    I was so excited when I saw the concept Torana TT36 came out at the 2004 motor show but alas they never built it. They built a massive boat and suffered the consequences in terms of the mid size car market.

    A Medium sized car these days is the size of an old Commodore anyway

  • rentakeyboard

    Torana? Dont make me cry!

    One big missed opportunity

  • Bold

    “What is known is that the vehicle will not be a rebadged version of the Opel Insignia, as its price would be too high to be competitive in the segment.”

    Really?? I check UK website, it is not that expensive, same price as Mazda 6 in UK.

    • Shak

      Ever heard of shipping costs, currency conversions, tariffs, taxes and in General the greed of Australian arms of car companies and our Government.

      • tekkyy

        I thought the only BIG difference between Japanese and European is the distributor markup

        stop blaming the government

        • Shak

          I didnt, I called them greedy, which they are. if they insist on charging ludicrous stamp duty and LCT etc etc, then at least get rid of the 5% tariff.

          • tekkyy

            I guess the European-car distributors are just a tad more greedy than Japanese-car distributrors :)

  • Hung Low

    They should bury the “Epica” name-plate as well and start fresh with no recollection of this current beastie!

  • Matthew

    It most certainly will be the Malibu. The ‘new GM’ isn’t stupid enough to have 3 quality midsizers (Insignia, Malibu + another) for various markets when there is no need too. There have been plenty of spy photos of the Malibu and from what we can see, it doesn’t look too shabby at all.

  • Shak

    We all know that we will be getting the Malibu, but one question that is puzzling is what name will Holden choose to use. Maybe something beginning with ‘C’.

    • Steve

      Ahh the new Holden “Cretin”

  • filippo

    As low as the figure of 1842 sales is, it’s still rather staggering that so many people parted with at least $25000 on such junk. I guess these are the same mouth-breathers who respond to spam emails from Nigerian scammers.

    • MattW

      lmao very true

  • bangel

    Gone and forgotten , what a joke , looked dumb from first day , apologies to those who wasted their hard earned cash .

  • Joof

    I have read on other car news sites from around the world that the malibu is itself based on the insignia platform…

    Any takers or naysayers? It’d be interesting if it was…

    • Shak

      The 2012 Malibu, aka our new Epica, is based on the new EpsilonII platform.

  • anthony

    Since 2007,I have bought 2 mid sized sedans,a Volkswagen Jetta and a Honda Accord Euro,and could never bring myself to even test drive one of these,what an embarresment to GM…HIDEOUS

  • Joof

    Ok, thanks

    • Shak

      Sorry, i cant give you much info on the current malibu. I have no clue what Platform from the GM world it is based on.

  • Sam

    heres a hot tip, stop bringing in crap cars from korea and people might buy em

    • Shak

      Thats why they are now bringing in Good cars from Korea and lots of people are buying them.

  • Mike

    Holden, Please make sure the new car has a 8 Speed manual option

  • Save It for the track

    It’s obvious it won’t be a re-badged Insignia, given the story that Opel is going to start up in Aus. If it does end up being a rebadged Insignia, that would be foolish of GM to have the same car in the same market with different badges.
    Lots of people buy the Cruze and Captiva based on Holden marketing, not necessarily because they are good cars or even good compared to their rivals. Much like the sales success of Corollas and Camry’s. which in those cases would best be described as ‘solid’ But nowhere near best in class or having driving character.
    It will be interesting to see when Opel does arrive, the small/midsize comparos of Opel vs Holden (GM-DAEWOO), should be interesting, but no doubt the Holden propaganda machine (the marketing department), will still see the Barina (Koleos) outsell the Opel Corsa.

  • Sean

    Yeah – my money is on the new Chev Malibu. Hopefully we won’t get saddled with the same name. Holden Malibu in this market would be a bit like calling something the Chevrolet Bondi. It’s bad enough we already have the Holden Colorado. Surely there’s enough variety left in the car-naming world to not have a US noun attached to an Australian market car?

    This new one will be the next orphan mid-sizer from Holden unless they price it and market it smartly against the Camry. It will have to be another niche model otherwise it could cannibalise sales from the Commode and Cruze, which I reckon is being groomed by Holden for market leadership. Forget what Devereaux says about keeping the Commodore at the top. Holden will keep the V car “relevant”, but I reckon will strive to get the Cruze into top slot by 2012.

  • Byron

    Even though I didn’t find the exterior & diesel engine offending, everything else about the car was negative. This is just like the TK Barina, old, underdone & seriously needs a replacement asap. Oh well Epica had a slow month, & judging by Vfacts, it will only need another month to sell over 10,000 cars after nearly 4 years being on sale, talk about slow sales. Malibu looks like the likely replacement but i’m wondering what they’ll call it. I can’t imagine “Holden Malibu”? Any mid-size replacement that doesn’t run back to the year of 1997 will surely help Holden in the medium segment & it’s sales against the uninspiring Camry. Bonus to dropping the name, not many people will remember Epica anyway so a new car & name will also help them alot in the sales race. Good luck Holden :)

  • ukcar

    The dumbest thing about the Epica is that it only has (or will have had) one body style – sedan. The Vectra came as a hatch, and a wagon as well for a while, while the Insignia is available as all three. As is the Ford Mondeo. In New Zealand, the market for mid-size wagons is larger than in Australia, so having only one body style makes even less sense.

  • Mr.B

    dunno why people hate on this car, i love it and the back end looks great!

  • Shampit

    Bunch of nobs.  I own a 2011 Epica and it’s friggin awesome ……