Last week, a bombshell report claimed UK-based Inchcape is interested in purchasing the rights to import Holden vehicles for Australia from General Motors. Now, a new twist to the plot: Opel could also return.
CarAdvice reported Monday that Inchcape also seeks to potentially add Opel to Australian showrooms in the near future, and if it should purchase the Holden import business from GM, the latter would lose the Commodore and Astra vehicles. The current ZB Commodore is a rebadged Opel Insignia.
A deal for GM to offload its Holden import operations would see GM effectively “exit” Australia while still developing the cars. Inchcape would handle retail and import duties for Holden, and it could save GM a great amount of money. Last week’s report claimed GM was very tepid to such an offer, however.
Inchcape handles imports for numerous auto brands around the world, including Subaru, Peugeot, and Citroen in Australia. The latter two make sense for Opel’s possible return: GM sold Opel to PSA Group (which operates the two French brands) in 2017.
If Inchcape successfully purchased the Holden operations from GM, it would leave the brand with a lineup of crossovers and SUVs for now as Opel would handle Insignia (nee Commodore) and Astra sales. Currently, GM purchases cars and pays for production of the Buick Regal, Regal TourX, and Holden Commodore variants from now PSA-owned factories in Europe.
The current deal has also left the future of both cars up in the air, especially as GM moves to kill off many of its passenger cars in North America. Chevrolet, for example, will be left with just the Malibu.
Holden dismissed the rumors in the latest report and said GM is committed to rebuilding the brand. It’s also told dealers and office staff the reports are “speculation.”