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.