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Holden to launch 24 new models in five years

Spark it up: Holden's next-generation Barina Spark city car will arrive in early 2016 and is likely to be a version of GM's global model that is badged as an Opel Karl in Europe.

Barina Spark replacement locked in for Q1 next year as new Captiva looms

6 Feb 2015

HOLDEN has confirmed that a replacement for the ageing Barina Spark hatch and the Captiva SUV are coming soon as a part of its model-range rejuvenation that will include 24 “major” new models by 2020.

As GoAuto has reported, the next-generation Barina Spark is likely to be based on General Motors' global micro car that will be offered in Europe as the Opel Karl, the Vauxhall Viva in the United Kingdom and the Chevrolet Spark in the United States.

Holden confirmed in a statement that the next iteration of its Mitsubishi Mirage rival will maintain the Barina Spark moniker in Australia when the new-generation version launches here in the first quarter of 2016.

GoAuto photographers spotted a heavily camouflaged Vauxhall Viva leaving Holden's Port Melbourne headquarters last week, undergoing testing here before its global roll-out in the coming months.

The confirmation of the next Barina Spark came during a press conference with General Motors executive vice president and president of GM International Stefan Jacoby, who was confirming the appointment of former Holden chief financial officer Mark Bernhard as the new chairman and managing director of Holden.

Mr Jacoby also confirmed that Holden will launch 24 “major” new vehicles, and 36 powertrain combinations over the next five years.

“GM is investing significantly to broaden the Holden product portfolio and deliver world-class vehicles,” he said.

“Holden is accessing GM’s global operations to assemble its biggest and best ever product line-up. This new model onslaught will ensure Holden has world-class products in every major segment – a true customer-driven product strategy.” Without providing any details on timing and sourcing, Mr Jacoby also confirmed that a replacement for the long-in-the-tooth Captiva was on the way, as well as a second “world-class SUV”.

While GM is yet to confirm any details of its Captiva replacement, the next-generation version could downsize to just the Captiva 5 and be Holden's contender in the hugely popular compact/mid-size SUV segment, battling the Mazda CX-5, Toyota's RAV4 and the Honda CR-V.

This would leave space near the top of Holden's SUV line-up for a seven-seat crossover to replace the nine-year-old Captiva 7 and take on the likes of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Ford's Territory replacement – likely to be the global Edge model – and Toyota Kluger.

One of the likeliest candidates to underpin the “world-class SUV” Mr Jacoby mentioned is the Buick Envision that was unveiled in China last year. Originally seen as a China-market-only model, the Envision has been mooted as a starter in the US and could form the basis of a global GM model.

Holden is keeping its future product portfolio a closely guarded secret, but a number of other models from GM's global portfolio could join the Australian line-up in the coming years.

The Holden Commodore replacement is likely to be either a full-sized model based on GM's new rear-drive Omega platform that could underpin other Buick, Cadillac and Chevrolet models, or it could be a rebadged front-wheel drive next-gen Opel Insignia sourced from Europe.

A return to the delivery van segment is also on the cards for Holden, with the Renault Trafic-based Opel Vivaro a chance to join the line-up.

The next-generation Barina could swap from South Korean sourcing to Germany and be a re-badged Corsa, while the next Opel Astra, due later this year in Europe, is a chance to replace the Cruze when Holden's manufacturing operations close in 2017.

As previously reported, one-third of Holden's future line-up will be sourced from Europe, kicking off with the current-generation Astra GTC and three-door and VXR hot hatch, the Insignia VXR performance sedan and the Cascada convertible in the middle of this year.

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