News - Holden Commodore
Holden to take Commodore upmarket
Class act: The Opel Insignia will push back against the lower end versions of European premium cars in Europe.
European market premium push could see Holden Commodore take on C-Class
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10 March 2017
HOLDEN’S new-generation German-built Commodore could be targeted at entry-level
mid-size European models as well as traditional mainstream rivals when it hits
Australian shores early next year.
With the Opel Insignia-based Commodore set to move down a segment and compete
in the sub-$60,000 mid-size class rather than among traditional large cars, the
vehicle will go head-to-head with the likes of Ford’s Mondeo, Kia’s Optima,
Hyundai’s i40 and Sonata and the Mazda6.
But if the European positioning of the Opel Insignia is anything to go by, the
Commodore could push into more premium territory occupied by the Volkswagen
Passat and Skoda Superb cousins and entry versions of the Mercedes-Benz
C-Class, BMW 3 Series and Audi A4.
Speaking to journalists at the Geneva motor show this week, Opel vice-president
of design Mark Adams said in Europe the brand – which has just been bought by
France’s PSA Group (parent of Peugeot, Citroen and DS) – was pushing back
against traditional luxury marques that were moving down into mainstream
territory with their base-model cars.
“Our key role, trying to balance this car, we have had the premium brands
coming down into our space for a long time now and we felt that this is a car
that we need to sort of push back a bit,” Mr Adams said this week on the Geneva
show stand, where the Insignia made its public debut.
“Why do we always take it that they are coming into our space? And we think we
have a car that projects that aura of premium-ness at a much better value
proposition. So as long as you are not a brand snob, you can find a better
“We felt that was important and fitted with what Holden needed to do as well.”
Depending on pricing, specification and overall positioning which will be
revealed closer to the imported Commodore’s 2018 launch, it could be shopped
against base-variant Europeans that start from between $55,000 and $60,000,
depending on the model.
Mr Adams said while the outgoing Insignia is competitive against its mainstream
rivals, such as the Mondeo, the new model will compete well against the more
traditional premium fare.
“We know we can do great products, so we want to fight back a bit and this is a
great vehicle that can do that. There will be other things we think we can
stand tall on and we don’t need to worry in that context. In this particular
segment, you do need to worry about that because the premium executive cars
play a big role in that space so we need to be able to perform in that,” he
“Today’s car (current-generation Insignia), against its normal competition, we
do extremely well in the UK and places like that. So we think this car will
allow us to push back even harder and that fits very nicely with what needs to
happen in Australia, too.”
Mr Adams said there was a synergy between the requirements of the different
markets that will take the Insignia-based car.
“When trying to piece together the different needs from different regions, a
lot of it is very consistent in what it is trying to achieve,” he said.
“Yes, you have got to tune it differently to suit certain customer needs but at
the same time as long as the majority of the toolbox is consistent, that can be
a great role it can play for everyone.”