Currently reading: Opel pulls out of Australia
Opel has quit Australia after less than a year, citing poor sales

The Opel brand has closed its operations in Australia, less than a year after expanding there. The announcement was made today, and is with immediate effect.

The brand blamed poor sales for the move. Sales of 15,000 within three years had been expected, but Opel shifted just 541 cars last year and 989 in the first six months of 2013. Opel Australia sold the Corsa, Astra and Insignia.

In a statement, Opel said: "Opel Australia will cease operations and will commence winding down its network immediately. 

"Opel will now begin analysis together with Holden regarding the potential for future Holden-badged product, in order to ascertain if opportunities exist for individual niche models.

"Opel Australia is working closely with employees, dealers and suppliers to conduct this closure process in an orderly and responsible manner. As always, customers are of the highest priority, and Opel Australia will remain in close contact with them, to ensure all on-going obligations to these customers are met."

Last year the brand was established in Australia as part of a market expansion plan, which also included Israel and Chile.

The GM-owned brand has informed its 20 dealers and 15 staff in its Melbourne headquarters. According to local media, dealership job losses are unlikely as most sites are multifranchise, but it is not known if other staff will be redeployed at Holden.

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disco.stu 2 August 2013

No surprise

The surprising thing was that they actually tried in the first place.  Volkswagen, once the factory took over distribution of its models in Australia from the independent importer, took over a decade to truly establish itself at the bottom end of the top 10 brands in Oz.  And that was with the might of VAG's spending.  Cash-strapped GM/Opel was never going to match that level of marketing and promotion, so it's a wonder they sold any cars at all.

A horrendous waste of money, at a time when none of the GM family can afford it.  It certainly hasn't helped Holden, which is struggling, and no doubt very few people at Port Melbourne will be appreciating the wisdom of Head Office personnel in Russelheim and Detroit.

fadyady 2 August 2013

Opel = Holden. No?

Why did Opel bother going down under when they have Holden there?

Cheltenhamshire 2 August 2013

fadyady wrote: Why did Opel

fadyady wrote:

Why did Opel bother going down under when they have Holden there?

We now know where British Leyland and more recently Rover's managers ended up ... making a major cockup down under.  As has been pointed out GM used to sell most of the Opel range down under with Holden badges and made the Commodore locally and for export.  They had a few Korean Chevvy's rebadged as Holdens and it seemed to work. 

China has a right mix of both Korean Chevvy's (old Buick Excelle) and Opel's (new Buick Excelle, Regal - which is the Isignia - ) and so on ....

What a mess!!

coch_9 2 August 2013

Opel's showroom in Geelong -

Opel's showroom in Geelong - Victoria's second largest city after Melbourne - was in a prime position. Major steet. Beside the Ford dealership, and only a matter of a few hundred metres from Toyota, Suzuki, Holden, VW, Mazda, Hyundai and Nissan showrooms. Drive past on a Saturday and there are new car shoppers everywhere. Yet I never saw one potential purchaser talking with an Opel sales person, let alone just peering through the window. 

Opel is an unknown brand in Australia. Yes, we recognise the Astra badge but Corsas were badged as Holden Barinas. If Aussies want a cheap car similar in size to an Astra, we buy Hyundai i30s, if we want something that is reliable and good to drive, we buy Mazda 3s and if we want a European badge we buy a Golf. Opel was always going to battle. It doesn't really surprise me.