I always wondered about the wisdom of bringing Opel badged products, as good as they are. Perhaps Opels should have been sold here with the Holden name on them in the first place. The timing seems significant. Was there a plan to give the launch 12 months? It would seems so.
The press release spells out price as being a factor, but Opels still cost significantly more here than they do in Europe. Ford markets its European Focus and Mondeo under the main company name so perhaps that should have been a consideration. Australians will only pay so much extra over our northern neighbours for so long before something gives. The question I would ask is this: if Opel is making a profit in the Uk and Europe charging much less for their cars, why can’t they do it here? Opel isn’t manufacturing here so wages aren’t a consideration and tax is only levied on the price of the car that lands on our shores. In other words the importers are taxed on the price they paid to bring the car here. If the Toyota 86 can be brought to Australia for around the same price as it is in the UK and USA, it begs the question why all cars aren’t brought here for the same price.
The most important factor is that Opel is owned by GM and GM also owns Holden. Why didn’t Opel simply use Holden’s existing network?
Opel Press release:-
Melbourne: Opel Australia will cease operations and will commence winding down its network immediately.
In order to be competitive, Opel Australia would need to follow recent competitor price reductions, and significantly reposition the price of its core volume models.
These changes, combined with the continued investment required to ensure brand awareness, result in a business which is not financially viable for any of the parties involved.
Opel will now begin analysis together with Holden regarding the potential for future Holden-badged niche product, in order to ascertain if opportunities for individual carlines exist.
Opel Australia is working closely with employees, dealers and suppliers to conduct this closure process in an orderly and responsible manner. As always, customers are of the highest priority, and Opel Australia will remain in close contact with them, to ensure all on-going obligations to these customers are met.
Customers are encouraged to contact the Opel Customer Assistance Centre on 1800 993 677 with any concerns or questions.