The future of Holden's second-best seller is under review, with currency fluctuations and commodity price increases threatening the future of the European-built Astra.
Holden has put a stop on imports of the Astra while it conducts price negotiations with Opel, the European subsidiary of General Motors that manufactures the vehicles.
"The Astra is being studied at the moment and until we come to an agreement with Opel on pricing, we've placed orders on hold. For competitive reasons, we'd rather not talk about our small-car strategy. Astra's a great car but it has to make business sense for us"
With the loss of most of the Holden Commodore's export markets and the closure of the Family II engine plant, Holden appears to have taken yet another step closer to non-existence by the virtual cancellation of the Astra.
Now admittedly the car has sort of been replaced by inference by the Holden Cruze, but bear in mind that this was originally intended also with export in mind and considering that was before GM was staring down the barrel of bankruptcy, that hope has been destroyed.
In Australia we've already lost the chance to get our hands on the Corsa D, and the Insignia which won the European Car of the Year for 2009. Dropping the Astra now means that we lose it before the next change of model, which is due in September 2009 when the Astra I is released. I should also mention that we're also going to miss out on the upcoming 250bhp Astra VXR as well. Thanks Holden... just thanks.
We'll never get to see this on our roads, thanks to Holden's stupidity.
Basically it means that at around about late 2009 we might see a cosmetic change to the Commodore (if they pursue it that long) but since the cancellation of the GM Zeta Platform, it is a dead end.
Holden should resign itself to the fact that from 2012, they will be just a badge. I guess that Ben Chifley's dream for an "Australian car for Australian Conditions" will slowly fade from view.