By on May 1, 2014

holden_astra_vxr_insignia_vxr_cascada_4_s

 

Holden may be losing the Commodore, but the brand will gain three new “premium” offerings, suggesting a possible direction for its famed HSV performance shop.

Holden-badged versions of the Astra GTC and VXR, Insignia VXR and the Cascada convertible. Just-Auto reports that the Insignia will be a new “fully imported” premium sedan, while the Astra models will target the growing hot hatch segment. Holden expects the Cascada to go up against ragtop entrants from BMW and Audi.

The introduction of the three models suggests a possible future direction for Holden, which will be left without its signature, locally build models like the Commodore. Hotter versions of the rear-drive cars, built by tuning arm HSV, are a big part of Holden’s public image, and the Astra and Insignia could even be future candidates for the HSV treatment.

To some, its heresy to even suggest such a thing. But the three models, which Holden expects to be niche products, are critically acclaimed despite their lack of a V8 and rear-wheel drive. But with rumors of a front-drive Commodore continuing to circulate, a souped-up, front-drive HSV car might be a fixture in the future.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

33 Comments on “Holden Gets Rebadged Opels...”


  • avatar

    Those look so much better than what America gets.

    And as for the Commodore: it’s all good for SRT!

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      That blue hatchback gives me wood. We get so many damn bland conservative designs over here. The new Mazda 3 is the only decent looking hatch for sale in the US right now and I can’t even get it in the config I would want.

  • avatar
    dolorean

    Being that these are wrong-hand driven cars, wouldn’t they be Rebadged Vauxhalls?

    • 0 avatar
      piro

      You mean right-hand drive.

      The correct side.

      The only reason any country drives on the right side of the road is because of the French! Napoleon!

      The natural side is the left, most countries started that way…

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Pennsylvania had a keep-right rule years before Napoleon came to power.

        That being said, keeping to a particular side didn’t matter much until cars came along. Before that, the keep-right/keep-left rules were not universally applied, and there wasn’t lane discipline in the sense that we would (hope to) have it today.

    • 0 avatar
      cpthaddock

      People outside the UK forget about Vauxhall. In fact, I’ve known former Vauxhall owners try to forget about Vauxhall.

      Playing “chicken” on public highways was significantly less dramatic during ungulate power times.

  • avatar
    romismak

    I think this is the right direction for Holden, they need to have good looking cars, once they wouldn´t be ,,australian,, brand – produced locally i think they may loose some % of loyal customers, right now MAzda is as big as Holden, so if they want to be at least No.2 in Australia they need good product for good price. I am not sure if EUR exports would be price competitive, so my guess is it would make sense if they produce those vehicles in GM Thailand or GM Korea – yes if they sell just few thousands of those it´s not logical step, but Opel has some really good cars that Chevrolet doesn´t have – why not sell them as rebadged Chevies in those markets – in ASEAN and Korea as Chevrolet. Also as rebadged Buick´s in China, Opel is to small in thsoe markets and it would need hundreds of millions USD to become well-known brand. I think this is still biggest GM´s problems, they killed off Saturn,Pontiac,Oldsmobile, Hummer, sold SAAB – but still GM can´t manage in the right way their brands. I mean if they won´t let Opel to go beyond Europe, o.k. but why don´t use their best products in some markets under Chevy, Buick,Holden logo.

  • avatar
    rpol35

    “But with rumors of a front-drive Commodore continuing to circulate, a souped-up, front-drive HSV car might be a fixture in the future.”

    They may need to do this for marketing, environmental, regulatory etc. reasons but it’s hard to get excited about it.

  • avatar
    brianyates

    Wow,”premium offering” and Opel in the same sentence,who’d have thought?

    • 0 avatar
      pacificpom2

      Opel has a good reputation in Australia in regards to the original Astra import. When Holden had to ditch Opel (too expensive) and replace it with the Daewoo Astra, customers soon learnt about the quality of Korean built vehicles, and bought accordingly. With the demise of the Commodore/Falcon/Aurion, the price equation will be removed and the Opels will no longer have to compete against a larger local car at the same price point.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Perhaps a US or Canadian built Chevy ss will be exported to Australia as a Commodore in the future

  • avatar

    This is what GM should have been doing all along, maximizing global production with localized badge engineering. I hope they don’t mess it up this time, they don’t have much good faith or many chances left.

  • avatar
    lacy1

    I’m assuming that Insignia is equivalent to a Regal GS which I like already, the hatch is meh, but I really like that convertible.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “Cascada to go up against ragtop entrants from BMW and Audi.”

    When I see a photo of the Cascada, I can picture it replacing the 200 convertible at Enterprise. Not the BMW convertible in my neighbor’s driveway. Not gonna happen, GM.

    I’m still confused as to WHY they throw Opel at every question, instead of making cars FOR Buick (larger volume US + China) and selling THEM as Opel (much more limited volume) and Holden (AUS only volume).

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      I think those cars are considered Opels (rather than Buicks) because they are designed in Rüsselsheim.
      I doubt that Buick has any engineering or design anymore.

      Does GM design any cars in the US these days? I’m not talking about the kind of engineering it takes to turn a 5 year old Saab into a new Impala (beat it with the ugly stick). As far as I can tell, GM only designs pickups in North America.

    • 0 avatar
      romismak

      I guess you are from USA right? because otherwise you wouldn´t ask such question.

      Opel is decades one of biggest brands in Europe, having factories in multiple EUR countries and Russelheim is 2nd biggest GM desing-engineering centre in the world. Opel has models in far more segments that any other GM brand bar Chevrolet, we can say that Opel is 2nd biggest GM brand after Chevrolet – in term of team-desings,research engineering, how many models it get and so on, it doesn´t matter if Buick thanks to booming China sales will sell more cars globally than Opel/Vauxhall, because Buick is still just local brand – being in NA – small brand -niche – almost premium brand and being huge in China and popular – Buick´s in 4 markets and i doubt they have big reserach-develeopment team. Opel in Europe if develops something good that can adapt to US conditions they can rebadged it as Buick, but definitely not other way around. BTW Opel/Vauxhall last year was still bigger than Buick only by 30 thousand. 1060 opels and 1030 something Buicks sold last year, this year Buick thanks to booming China will most likely sold more vehicles than Opel/Vauxhall.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I’m sorry I really can’t understand what you’re saying.

        • 0 avatar

          Yes you can Corey. What’s he saying is that Opel builds and develops its own cars (under GM supervision) while Buick doesn’t have that capacity anymore. Plus Opel cars can sell in the US and China while traditional Buicks would not sell anywhere but the US. It is also highly debatable traditional Buicks would even sell in the US.

          • 0 avatar
            romismak

            Thanks Marcelo, i must agree that i didn´t write it exactly how i meant but you understand it perfectly, so don´t know why any other person shouldn´t

            CoreyDL – my point was that Opel is major automaker in Europe and has great people and own cars, own models, while Buick is just one of GM NA brands with limited resources-development, engineer team – Buick today is basically few models selling in hundred thousands in China that´s it. That was my point that Buick´s can´t be rebadged as Opel´s, – but other way is possible and doable and also succesfull lately

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Both of you are ESL, that has something to do with it. Lol.

            I can see how there would be doubt about a traditional Buick selling worldwide – but from all of GM’s complaints and shifting here and there, Opel -isn’t- doing well either.

        • 0 avatar
          Richarbl

          Don’t worry, I can’t understand him either.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    So now we have Opel Europe, Opel North America (Buick), and now we’re about to open Opel Oceania (Australia & New Zealand.)

    Way to go GM.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Holden will not only use Opel to supply vehicles.

    I don’t think Opel cars for the consumer are any better than Korean, Thai or even US vehicles overall.

    Holden will supply the most competitive products. It is free the change suppliers at will.

    The EU doesn’t manufacture all that Holden requires.

  • avatar
    Spike_in_Brisbane

    I’ve said this before when people suggest sending U.S. Cars to Australia; manufacturers world-wide design their cars to be built for left or right hand drive. With very few exceptions ( mostly Chrysler/Jeep), U.S. Manufacturers build for left hand drive only.
    One example is the Ford E-series van. It makes a great base for a motorhome but is almost impossible to convert to RHD because the engine is offset to one side.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      GM and Ford are supposedly going to address this. The Mustang will be made in a RHD-drive variant, and at least some of the GM US-market cars will be designed with the wrong, er, other side of the road in mind.

      • 0 avatar
        pacificpom2

        Nah the US will force Australia to go left hand drive to comply with some fine print clause in the FTA, solves the insurmountable problem of re-engineering for exotic places :)

  • avatar
    siuol11.2

    Wow, I like the blue one.

  • avatar

    Astra did not sell in US well and Insignia too. Opels do not sell well even in Europe. I do not see what the excitement is about. At least Holden was making unique RWD cars. Could be joint platform for US, China and Australia (Europe and Japan are dying markets). Omega was a RWD which was supposed to compete in luxury segment – the reason why it stayed RWD as long as it did as well as Scorpio. I could understand if Holdens were rebadged VWs but Opels?


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India