Deutscher makes mark

Euro fi­nan­cial woes won’t stop Opel forg­ing ahead here

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News -

Cars­guide be­lieves 16 deal­ers have so far been ap­pointed and that only two are Holden.

How­ever, Opel Australia spokes­woman Michelle Lang says the brand is ‘‘ still in the process’’ of ap­point­ing deal­ers.

‘‘ We cur­rently have con­tracts com­ing back and the le­gal pro­cesses are un­der way. We are re­ally pleased with the cal­i­bre of deal­ers.’’

Lang says their tar­get num­ber of deal­ers is ‘‘ only 16 or 17 in the first year . . . We may be look­ing at that as time goes on but they will be met­ro­pol­i­tan deal­ers to be­gin with. Some deal­ers are mul­ti­de­al­ers that have other Ger­man brands.’’

Even though it is part of the Amer­i­cangm­stable, Opel, founded in 1899, is iden­ti­fied pri­mar­ily as a Ger­man brand with the virtues of that coun­try’s auto en­gi­neer­ing and de­sign.

The brand will launch in Australia with three model ranges: Corsa, As­tra and In­signia.

Cars­guide be­lieves the Corsa light car may start at un­der $20,000 to gain a foothold on the show­room floor but Lang can­not con­firm this.

‘‘ Your in­for­mants are telling you more than I can tell you,’’ she says.

The Corsa, which in pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tions was Holden’s Ba­rina, will come in three and five-door hatch vari­ants.

Above that is the As­tra five­door, Tourer (wagon) and GTC coupe, the range topped by the In­signia sedan and the Tourer.

As­tra was last sold in Australia by Holden in March 2010. It was then built in Bel­gium and re­placed by the Korean-built Cruze.

The As­tra mod­els com­ing to Australia will be built atgm’s Vaux­hall plant in Bri­tain. Opel’s hero car, the As­tra GTC, re­cently won the de­sign cat­e­gory of the 2012 Plus X Awards in Ger­many, one of eight awards for the Ger­man brand.

Flag­ship: The As­tra GTC coupe is Opel’s hero car

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