Opel has quit Australia after less than a year, citing poor sales
2 August 2013

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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11

2 August 2013

Holden had phased out the use of Vauxhall/Opel based cars and headed down the road of using Euro and US-based Chevy models. 

GM needs a clear plan for ALL of their markets. They need to pull their finger out somewhat!

2 August 2013

Perhaps an opportunity instead to introduce the Buick brand and products, which might sound like a better idea in the first place.

2 August 2013

Why on Earth would GM introduce Buick to the Australian marketplace? What would that achieve? Buick has even less resonance with Australian marketplace than Opel, so would struggle more from a recognition perspective. The only possible gain would be if the Buicks came from China, they could then be priced competitively. The question mark over Chinese quality notwithstanding. 

Golfs sell in Australia for between $25,290 and over $55,000 (see link) What I do not understand is why VW can sell a European-sourced Golf in Australia profitably, but GM cannot sell an Astra? 

It is disappointing that GM has given up so easily. I won't hold my breath expecting any Opels to turn up with Holden badges again anytime soon - Holden have been pretty clear that they have bound their flag to the Chevrolet mast, not the Opel one. 

This decision must have been made with great speed - Opel Australia were only annoucing the launch of new vehicles a few months ago (in April - see link

2 August 2013

I think this is probably a good idea in the long term, Holden is a more established brand so why not sell the Corsa Astra Insignia badged as Holdens, (like they did with previous Corsa's Astra's Vectra's etc at least potential customers will at least know the brand they are buying into and then have the option of a vehicle with better quality (that could be controversial but i consider the Corsa Astra Insignia etc to be made to a higher standard that its Holden/Chevrolet counterparts..  

2 August 2013

Maybe that's a market MG of the UK could sell in.  They have about the same or worse sales figures in the UK with a population about 3 times the size, but MG are content with low volume sales.  Get Steven Taylor out their he'd be a brilliant salesman.

2 August 2013

Smilerforce wrote:

Maybe that's a market MG of the UK could sell in.  They have about the same or worse sales figures in the UK with a population about 3 times the size, but MG are content with low volume sales.  Get Steven Taylor out their he'd be a brilliant salesman.

MG already do sell their cars in Australia with the 6 and forthcoming 3 models.  Unlike GM who pulled out at the slightest sign of trouble, MG are replicating their UK tactics and building up the business slowly.  (Too slowly if you ask me!)

2 August 2013

Not enough advertising and in Melbourne at least a poor site for the dealership. Modern car dealerships have large salerooms and lots of parking, often in close proximity to other makes, not crammed in on a semi-main road with little if any on site parking. Added to which the cars have the wrong badge. Sticking a Holden badge would have helped but  local pacific area models like the Cruze and now Malibu are  more competitive on price and not far off dynamically, not that the most Aussies would appreciate or for that matter need the supposedly superior euro built models if they were Holden badged. Good to see GM try but they lacked effort.

2 August 2013

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.

2 August 2013

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

2 August 2013

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!!

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