Ever since Holden announced it would wind down its local manufacturing operations by 2017 and end production of the rear-wheel drive Commodore, many have wondered where the automaker’s future products would be sourced from. Parent company General Motors has plants all over the world, including in Europe, China and South Korea, all of which could have been tasked with building cars for Oz. However Opel boss Karl-Thomas Neumann has now come out and confirmed that Holden’s future models will come from Europe.
Earlier this year Holden announced three European-sourced models, the Cascada convertible, the Astra GTC and VXR hatches and the Insignia VXR performance sedan, would all be brought over to the region from Europe. Those three models are “just the start of things to come,” as Holden prepares to bring other European models to Australia, the automaker said.
“I’m very excited about the role our great products will play in the resurgence of the Holden brand, by being able to provide more than one-third of Holden’s future product line-up,” Neumann said at the Paris Motor Show last week. “Spearheaded by Opel’s Drive! 2022 strategy, we are making significant investments in new models, engines, transmissions and testing facilities to ensure we deliver truly world class products to our export markets like Australia.”
Holden boss Gerry Dorizas echoed Neumann’s confidence in the decision, adding that some Opel products are a good fit for Australia as they are in line with the performance heritage Holden has.
“We are absolutely committed to bringing the best possible products from GM’s global portfolio to Australian customers to support a strong and exciting future for Holden,” said Dorizas. “Holden and Opel share very similar core brand values, including our commitment to performance, engineering excellence, vehicle dynamics and technology, which makes this such a strong and obvious partnership.”
While more Holden models may come from Europe, it’s still not clear what the future of its Commodore sedan will look like beyond 2017. The rear-wheel drive four-door has long been a staple of the Holden lineup and will be missed by both employees and consumers when production ends. While there is talk of the car’s replacement coming from Europe, that model could be a front-wheel drive sedan, with future rear-wheel drive performance cars for Oz likely being sourced from the United States.