The VW hunters
Due later this year, Opels are already testing on our roads
‘‘ We have our launch lineup now absolutely set in stone,’’ says Opel’s Michelle Lang. ‘‘ We have played it down until now. We wanted to be sure we had every car we wanted, and we have the first evaluation cars here now.’’
Opel has the hot Astra GTC coupe as the headline car of a surprisingly varied range.
When they go on sale on September 1, Opel also will have the Corsa in three and five-door hatchback form, the Astra as a hatch and tourer wagon and the Camry-sized Insignia as a sedan and wagon.
‘‘ Opel has historically offered an aspirational, welldesigned German car at an affordable price point,’’ Lang says. ‘‘ We think we will be able to carve out that niche in Australia.’’
The big questions are still to do with the pricing of the Opels, and how they will sit against thevwpolo, Golf and Passat— as well as benchmarks including the Mazda3 and Ford Mondeo.
Lang says Opel cannot confirm prices. However, there will be no exchange rate-driven boost for buyers, despite the strength of the dollar.
‘‘ We are going to be pitched fairly and squarely at the Volkswagen segment,’’ she says. ‘‘ But it’s more than a price point, it’s how the cars are equipped and the amount of power.’’
Lang says the hottest future model, the baby Opel Junior, a Fiat 500 rival, is ‘‘ not at this stage’’ on the list for next year.
Opel is benefiting from a $13.4 billion investment by GM Europe over the next three years in tiny new green engines, battery-powered city runabouts and all-new models.
Lightning strike: The Opel Corsa, a rival for Volkswagen’s Polo, has started evaluation driving in Australia