I have been following this tale for months now... and I've finally seen the end of the story.
Big photos are found here:
Troubled Opel has released the first official images of the new Opel Astra, which will premiere at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. But rather than going on sale in either Germany or Britain, it's first release will be in Ireland in the first quarter of 2010.
“We’re continuing with the same premium design cues as the Insignia, inside and out of the car. However the main design themes, like the wing-shaped light signatures and the blade, needed an individual execution to avoid ‘cloning’ the model ranges. This is why, for instance, you see twin wings in the rear lights and a reversed blade on its flanks.”
- OpelEurope’s head of design, Mark Adams.
This is the car that us in Australia will never see on our roads, because now that Opel has almost found a way to untangle itself from GM, and Holden will be importing the Korean-built Cruze, there's nowhere for it in the lineup any more.
It makes me wonder though, since both the Cruze and the Astra are built on the GM Detla II platform and because the Cruze is built mainly with the US market in mind, exactly how GM see the buying public in Australia. I mean it stands to reason hat if you offer a cheaper product, then the inputs of that product are also going to be cheaper if you want to maintain the same profit ratios.
The Astra H/C starts at $24,390 whereas the Cruze starts at $20,990. It doesn't take much to realise that an already imported car that's been siting around waiting to be cleared which costs more than a yet to be imported car which might not have even been built yet, with a $3400 more expensive price tag, is probably a better built and better conceived car. So what does this say for Astra I/D which has only just been unwrapped? Better again? Better hope so.
Only we won't know, 'cause we're not getting them... ever.