General Motors' German subsidiary, Opel, has entered the already crowded Australian car market with a three model launch range, pitched at the premium end of the volume segment.
Trading heavily on an 'Attainable German Engineering' sales pitch, Opel will offer the compact Corsa as a 1.4-litre petrol hatch, in three and five door form, starting from $16 490.
Astra, a badge already familiar to Australians via Opel's GM sibling Holden, is offered as a mid-size hatch and 'Sports Tourer' wagon, with a choice of 1.4 and 1.6-litre turbo petrol engines or 2.0-litre turbo diesel from $23 990.
The sleek Astra GTC coupe variant is a highlight for enthusiasts, and will be available from launch with either of the turbo petrol engines, from RRP $28 990. Although Opel Australia will not confirm it, the odds are strong for the addition of a 206kW/400Nm Opel Performance Centre (OPC) version of the GTC arriving in the near future.
The larger Insignia is offered in turbo petrol and turbo diesel, sedan and Sports Tourer, from $38 490. Opel says over half a million Insignias have been sold since its debut in 2008, and claims the car has won more than 50 national and international awards, including the prestigious European Car of the Year award in 2009.
Although new to Australia, Opel has a long history in Europe, and its Russelsheim HQ is a General Motors powerhouse in terms of research and development for the group. Opel was the fourth largest auto brand in Europe in 2011, and will be represented by 17 dedicated dealerships across the country, with on-sale availability scheduled for September this year.