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Future models - Opel - Insignia

Next Holden large car ‘a credible Commodore’

Euro focus: The next-generation version of the mid-sized Opel Insignia is increasingly in line to wear a Commodore badge in Australia following the end of local production in 2017.

Holden marketing chief promises Commodore replacement due 2018 will fit the bill

Opel logo24 Nov 2014

GM HOLDEN marketing chief Bill Mott has promised that the fully imported replacement for the current rear-wheel-drive Australian-built Commodore due in 2018 will be a “credible” successor, despite increasing speculation that it will be a front-drive model based on the next-generation Opel Insignia.

Speaking at the launch of the 2015 Colorado in Queensland last week, Mr Mott would not be drawn on confirming whether the mid-size Insignia would become the new Commodore, but said the car that does replace it will fit the bill for the Australian market.

“I hope you can appreciate that I can’t confirm or deny what it is, but we will have a Commodore replacement and it will be a credible Commodore,” he said.

Mr Mott said Holden dealers had been informed of the future range of cars to alleviate any concern regarding future products following the shutdown of its manufacturing operations in 2017.

“We’re working very closely with the dealer network, we shared a lot of our future product plans earlier this year and gave them an indication of where we are going,” he said.

“Obviously one of the burning questions they would be asking themselves is, ‘What is the future for Commodore?’ And I think we’ve answered it to their satisfaction and that’s going to be key.

“I think that really opened their eyes as to our plans and laid that out for them as to the future of the brand and where we’re going and we continue to work very closely with them on short-term issues as well.”

Mr Mott, who was previously managing director of Opel Australia in its short tenure as a standalone brand here in 2012-13, said a public announcement would be made in time.

“It’s far too early now to make those statements but we will be making announcements about definitive future product,” he said.

“What I can tell you is that we’ll be bringing some of the niche models out of Europe into the country in the first half of next year and that gives a flavour of where we’re headed and we’re going with some of the future products.

“A significant proportion of our future product portfolio will be coming out of Europe.” Holden announced in May that it would introduce four Holden-badged Opels in 2015 – the sporty Astra GTC and VXR three-door hatch, the performance-tuned Insignia VXR mid-sized sedan and the Cascada convertible.

In August, GoAuto acquired documents that revealed Holden was preparing to import a range of other Opels as well, while referring to the Insignia as a Holden, suggesting there could be a future line-up of variants based on the model.

Other documentation released under the Freedom of Information Act earlier in the year showed Holden was planning to build a front-wheel-drive replacement for the Commodore using the Insignia’s Epsilon platform.

When asked if sending out the flagship cars first is designed to get the Australian public’s attention before a full rollout of the rebadged Opels which includes a replacement for the Commodore, Mr Mott suggested it was a case of ‘joining the dots’.

“Potentially,” he said.

“When we make the comments about those cars coming and how they will provide excitement to our range and they’re not going to be major volume car lines, then at the same time when we make a comment about the significant portion of our future range will be coming out of Europe, you can probably do some connecting of dots when thinking about what’s possible then.”

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