Holden has also said it has no intention of importing the next generation Astra into Australia and has confirmed that the suspension of Astra imports, which we first told you about back in April, has now become permanent.
Holden spokesperson Kate Lonsdale told CarAdvice that the strategic review of the Astra import had failed to make a business case for the continuation of the European sourced vehicle.
The decision ends Holden’s European imports and certainly leaves the door open for the use of the popular Astra nameplate on the locally produced, Cruze-based, coupe that Holden is planning for later next year.
“Following a strategic review, we can confirm that we won’t be reinstating the Astra in Australia,” Ms Lonsdale said.
She said it was not a decision taken lightly by Holden but the car was not viable in the current tough economic times.
“All of our small-car efforts are currently focused on the Cruze,” she added.
The sixth-generation Astra will be introduced at next month’s Frankfurt Motor Show and was believed to be under consideration by Holden for import into Australia as a premium product.
Ms Lonsdale said Holden would not revive the current Astra and the same applied to the new model, which is due to enter production in Germany and Britain later this year.
From late next year Holden will begin building a local version of the Cruze sedan that it currently imports from Daewoo in Korea and this will be joined later by a hatchback version, designed by Holden, that will be a likely replacement for the Astra.
In its first full month of sales the Cruze sold almost 2000 units and leapt to the top of the pack in Holden small car sales.
To date Holden has given few details of the hatchback other than a vague styling sketch, which shows a strong resemblance to the Opel built Astra.