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Euro Holden production is go

True blue: A new era of European-built Holdens has started with the first lion-badged Insignia rolling from Opel’s Russelsheim manufacturing line in Germany.

First of three new Opel-sourced Holden models rolls off Russelsheim production line


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11 Feb 2015

PRODUCTION of Holden's European-built vehicles has started with the inaugural Insignia rolling out of the German factory, with two more lion-badged models to follow.

The hot Insignia VXR mid-sized sedan – armed with a Holden-built 239kW turbo V6 – is the first European-built model to enter production, but it will be followed by VXR and GTC-badged versions of the Astra small hatchback and the Cascada convertible.

All three models are due to touch-down on Australian soil in the second quarter of this year as part of Holden's recently announced plan to launch “24 major vehicles” and 36 new powertrain combinations over the next five years.

The current Astra and Insignia made a brief appearance in Australia under Opel badges in 2012, but a withdrawal of General Motors’ European brand a year later saw the vehicles pulled and the Cascada launch canceled.

This time around, Holden marketing executive director Bill Mott said the Holden-badged cars would draw more customers to the Australian brand with a more sustained approach.

“Astra, Cascada and Insignia are renowned in Europe for their performance credentials and premium execution, making them the perfect addition to Holden’s range as we continue to offer more choice for our customers,” he said.

“These stunning niche vehicles are sure to have a fantastic halo effect and attract new customers to the brand. “We are determined to offer Australians the best possible products that we can source from GM’s global operations and Opel’s commitment to performance and quality aligns perfectly with our own heritage and brand.” The Russelsheim factory will produce the right-hand drive version the Insignia for Australia alongside similiar cars for Vauxhall in Britain and left-hooker Opels destined for the European market.

The 2.9-litre V6 is made for the Insignia flagship in Holden's Port Melbourne engine plant, alongside normally aspirated V6s for the Holden Commodore and Caprice.

Astra and Cascada will be made for Holden in Opel's Gliwice factory in Poland.

Pricing and final specifications are yet to be announced for the Australian line-up, but when sold wearing the lightening-bolt badge, the Insignia OPC (VXR equivalent) sold for $59,990 before on-road costs, while the Astra carried a $42,990 price for the hot OPC and $36,990 for the GTC.

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