As we all know GM is pulling out of manufacturing Holden’s in Australia but we have spotted a few comments about General Motors’ German subsidiary Opel planning to sell right-hand drive models badged as Holden vehicles in Australia and New Zealand, according to a German newspaper.
Opel have already tried to sell its brand in Australia but withdrew after just eleven months. Holden’s official position currently is that they can’t comment on the Opel situation or any future product plans for Holden, except to say that GM has some very exciting vehicles in the pipeline for this part of the world. Reports have also circulated that future Holden vehicles could be imported from the USA, Korea and China.
General Motors’ decision to pull out the Chevrolet brand in Europe shows it really means to fix the historically troubled Opel brand, and while doing that it most likely will look at its British Vauxhall brand. The financial situation with Opel-Vauxhall has been desperate, it has lost a staggering $18US billion since 1999 and although things have improved recently GM wants to breakeven in Europe by 2015 and stop the loss.
General Motors Europe owns the Opel and Vauxhall brand so when it purchased the South Korean Daewoo automaker they rebadged the Korean Daewoo cars as Chevrolet with the idea of making smaller budget cars for Europe. However this range of cars never really gained traction and instead weakened the Opel-Vauxhall sales by offering similar or sometimes identical cars with different names at lower prices.
The removal of the Korean made Chevrolet should halt the buyer confusion for Opel and Vauxhall. When analyzing the brand offerings in Europe, model-by-model, Chevrolet was effectively selling similar, and in some instances the same product at 10-15% discount.
What has this to do with Holden? Nothing has been confirmed yet about Opel being badged as Holden but this looks the most likely. GM is prepared to demonstrate some fresh thinking by taking Chevrolet from Europe. This will help create a clearer picture and if this works we could see Opel also replacing Vauxhall in Britain.
It does look like General Motors with the Chevrolet brand hasn’t understood the market in Europe and only knows how to market or promote their brands in America. Lets hope that we see a better solution here in Australia and New Zealand and if we do see rebadged Opel’s, they may be better than rebadged Daewoo’s.