Opel says Auf Wiedersehen to Australia

Opel says Auf Wiedersehen to Australia
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General Motors’ German car brand Opel is hitting reverse on its local operations, citing tension between sales and the need to invest in advertising.

Opel has been in market for less than a year with advertising partner M&C Saatchi Melbourne launching the brand’s debut campaign ‘Guten Tag’ (below) in September last year.

Michelle Lang, head of marketing and PR for Opel Australia, told B&T: “M&C Saatchi have been wonderful, creative partners for us, and we will continue working with them in winding down our operations.” M&C Saatchi declined to comment.

Lang declined to comment on the future of the brand’s five-member marketing team which is based in Melbourne.

“Any movements relating to any head office staff are confidential, and in truth it's too soon to comment further on this, given that we only found out about the decision last week.”

Opel announced its closure on Friday via a release which said 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 forecast sales of 15,000 in the brand’s first three years in Australia, according to reports. But only 1,530 Opel vehicles have been sold to June 2013.

In the release Lang said Opel is now working with Holden “regarding the potential for future Holden-badged niche product, in order to ascertain if opportunities for individual carlines exist”. 

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