General Motors hasn’t built the Holden Astra sedan since the closure of its Gunsan plant in South Korea last year, leaving Holden vulnerable in an important segment. The model was identical to the Chevrolet Cruze sedan sold in the U.S.
However, news of GM renewing the Chevrolet Cavalier trademark has some speculating that the car may make its way to Australian showrooms as a replacement for the Astra sedan.
A Holden spokesperson told Australia’s Wheels magazine that the Astra Sedan will remain on sale in Australia until current stock runs out, but offered no additional insight into a replacement. The Astra hatchback, sourced from an Opel-Vauxhall U.K. factory under PSA, has a similar uncertain future since a UK-based auto importer and distributor is rumored to import the hatch as an Opel on behalf of the PSA Group, which bought the brand from GM.
That’s where a Cavalier could come into play for Australia. While there’s zero chance GM will introduce a new mainstream compact car in the U.S. after ending Cruze production in Lordstown and at its Ramos Arizpe plant in Mexico, the small car segment remains large down under. The Cavalier built today rides on the old Delta II platform and is sold in China and Mexico. From its inception, the car was intended for emerging markets, which Australia is not.
As of this writing, the idea that the Chevrolet Cavalier will come to Australia is pure speculation. But the fact of the matter is that small cars remain popular in Australia. And while GM may have given up on them in the U.S., its Holden subsidiary is left with a glaring hole in its lineup.