Holden mines Opels

Aus­tralian show­rooms will have mod­els from Ger­many, Korea and US

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In­signia sedan and wagon and Cas­cada con­vert­ible are com­ing next year. Other Opel mod­els such as the Corsa city car are ex­pected to follow.

“(Opel cars) will be about one-third of the port­fo­lio of Holden. It is an im­por­tant ex­port business for us,” Neu­mann says.

To es­tab­lish a greater se­lec­tion of mod­els and price points, Holden prob­a­bly will sell Korean-built small cars and SUVs along­side the Opel im­ports.

Tipped to take on Toy­ota: Holden's US par­ent has big plans for a new range, in­clud­ing the Cas­cada con­vert­ible, As­tra VXR hot hatch and In­signia VXR per­for­mance sedan from Opel (all above); the Chevro­let Ca­maro, left, and Sil­ver­ado pick-up

The cars that will drive its growth are still about two years away but Holden is not back­ing away from its plan to top­ple mar­ket leader Toy­ota by the end of the decade.

At last week’s Paris mo­tor show the Gen­eral Mo­tors pres­i­dent Dan Am­mann boldly backed Holden’s claim that it will over­take Toy­ota in Aus­tralia.

Holden hasn’t been No. 1 for 11 years and has just posted its low­est sales in 20 years.

Am­mann, orig­i­nally from New Zealand, main­tains re­turn­ing to the top of the sales lad­der “is achiev­able”.

He says Holden now has friends in high places in Detroit to en­able to a host of US and Euro­pean cars that have pre­vi­ously been off lim­its.

For­mer Holden boss Mark Reuss (2008-09) is now in charge of global ve­hi­cle de­vel­op­ment, and his suc­ces­sor at Holden, Alan Batey (200910), is now the ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of Gen­eral Mo­tors in North Amer­ica.

has prob­a­bly taken the fo­cus off some of the other ar­eas where we could have been stronger.”

Boss of Opel in Ger­many Dr Karl-Thomas Neu­mann ex­pects Holden to im­port about one-third of its cars from Europe.

“The Aus­tralian mar­ket and the Holden brand is im­por­tant to Gen­eral Mo­tors. It will be of the re­spon­si­bil­ity of Opel to sup­ply cer­tain cars for Aus­tralia.”

Holden has con­firmed some As­tra vari­ants, as well as the

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