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Astra price premium revealed

Opel: The Astra, arriving here next year, will be priced in line with the VW Golf.

Opel Astra to be pitched into Golf heartland with a $3500 premium over Cruze

1 Mar 2011

HOLDEN has revealed its pricing policy for the forthcoming Opel Astra, even though the hatch is still at least 12 months away from an Australian launch.

GM Holden managing director and chairman Mike Devereux said the German-designed small car will probably wear a premium of about $3500 compared to an equivalently equipped Cruze.

To justify the difference between the two cars, the Astra will offer a higher level of technology and specification, including the electric-powered steering and Watts Link rear suspension system found only on the new Cruze 1.4 iTi turbo.

The Holden boss added that, unlike the previous Holden-badged AH Astra, the Opel version – which may carry the AJ internal code to correspond with its Astra J European one – would not be sold at a loss.

With the base 1.8-litre Ecotec four-cylinder petrol Cruze CD currently selling at $20,990, the expected price premium would put the cheapest Astra at about $24,500.

However, as the Astra is set to open with the 103kW/200Nm 1.4-litre Turbo Ecotec petrol from the $22,290 Cruze CD 1.4 iTi, it might therefore start at closer to $26,000.

52 center imageIn contrast, the Volkswagen Golf’s 90kW 1.4-litre turbo 90TSI kicks off from $24,990 while its 118kW 1.4-litre Twincharge 118TSI sibling starts at $29,490. There is also a $21,990 77kW 77TSI powered by a 1.2-litre turbo available in the evergreen Golf.

“The plan for the two brands – Holden and Opel – would be to have intelligent price points, intelligent approaches to content and technology,” Mr Devereux said at the Cruze Series II launch in Adelaide.

“They will be differentiated to a point where you will have a $3500 gap in similarly targeted vehicles that are at different price points.

“In fact, if the (previous) Astra would have worked (financially) at the Corolla/Mazda3/Hyundai i30 price point, we would probably have not stopped selling it because it was a fairly successful model.

“But for that model to be at a more mainstream price point, to compete with the Corolla and the like, we just couldn’t make any money doing it.”

Mr Devereux suggested that, at $25,000, Holden could not expect to sell “thirty or forty thousand of them” as Toyota and Mazda managed in 2010 with the Corolla and Mazda3 respectively, but it might hope to eventually sell 7000 to 10,000 Opel Astras a year in Australia.

While there may be other export-only engine choices for the Australian-bound Opel Astra, the only other petrol units currently available in Europe are a 74kW 1.4-litre Ecotec naturally aspirated unit, an 85kW 1.6-litre Econetic and a 132kW 1.6-litre Turbo Ecotec. Only the latter looks set to join the 1.4-litre Turbo Ecotec here.

A range of 1.7-litre and 2.0-litre CDTi turbo-diesels is also thought to be on the Opel Astra wish list.

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