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Plans scrapped for Opel Monza SUV

Gone-za: PSA has reportedly canned plans to develop the Insignia-based Monza SUV, which could have served as a flagship SUV for Opel.

Insignia-based Opel Monza SUV reportedly on hold following PSA Group takeover

14 Aug 2017

PLANS to build the Insignia-based Opel Monza SUV have been shelved as part of PSA Group’s €2.2 billion (A$3.3b) takeover of Opel and Vauxhall from General Motors, according to British publication Auto Express.

The future of the high-riding flagship wagon is now in doubt, almost three years after GM CEO Mary Barra announced an investment worth A$356m to build the Monza at Opel’s Russelsheim factory in Germany.

A further $727m was also allocated to upgrade Opel’s engine and transmission facilities at Russelsheim, Kaiserslautern and Tychy, seen at the time as a commitment to the German brand.

While the Monza’s future in Australia was never officially confirmed, it was believed that the range-topping SUV could form part of Holden’s line-up following the introduction of the Insignia-based Commodore.

GM Holden product communications manager Mark Flintoft told GoAuto the decision to axe the Monza would not affect the brand’s aggressive future model roll-out, which in 2015 was set at 24 new models by 2020.

Any gap in Holden’s portfolio left by the Monza should be covered by the arrival of two new SUVs inside the next 12 months – the Equinox mid-sizer, and the larger, seven-seat Acadia, which will replace the Captiva in Holden’s line-up.

According to Auto Express, PSA is now expected to freeze all GM-related projects, however Opel already started receiving new products from PSA before the takeover was completed.

Peugeot’s diminutive 2008 and 3008 SUV pair have been re-skinned and sold with Opel badges as the Crossland X and Grandland X, respectively, both of which are built on Peugeot’s EMP2 platform.

The Grandland X has been revealed ahead of a public debut at the Frankfurt motor show next month, however an Australian arrival under a Holden badge is unlikely.

It will go on sale in Europe in 2018 as a replacement for the Zafira people-mover, meaning an arrival date of around 2020 if it were to come Down Under.

The only Euro-sourced model in Holden’s range is the Astra small car, with the Insignia-based Commodore set to join the line-up next year, however the future of both models is unclear given PSA, not GM, own the nameplates.

Holden announced in 2014 that about a third of their future product would be sourced from Europe, however the PSA takeover could prove a big hurdle to overcome in achieving that goal.

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