Holden has rationalised its line-up, cutting loose three of its slow-selling European-sourced models in the Insignia VXR, Astra GTC and VXR three-door hatches, and Cascada convertible.
The move isn’t as sinister as it seems though, with Insignia production coming to an end as a new model comes online for the European market - and Australian’s will see it here too, albeit badged as a Commodore as the imported model arrives to replace the Australian-built Commodore.
Having first arrived locally in Australia under the short-lived Opel brand experiment in 2013, the Insignia returned as a performance-only model in turbocharged VXR guise as part of a two-model medium car approach alongside the also-discontinued Malibu.
In recent weeks the replacement for the VXR has been spied testing in Europe, with unique wider bodywork and lower suspension, but no clues as to what might be under the bonnet.
Australian customers will be able to buy the next generation Commodore with a 230kW 3.6-litre naturally aspirated V6 that hasn’t yet been made available for the Insignia in Europe - a long way short of the the 304kW V8 that powers the current Commodore SS, leaving significant room for a proper performance flagship.
A production wind-down is also the reason for the retreat of the Astra three-door, which is based on the previous model Astra and is yet to be replaced in the current Astra range in Europe.
Holden’s Astra range will get a shot in the arm (but in a very different form) in June, with the arrival of the Astra sedan, based on the Chevrolet Cruze sedan and built in Korea, to complement the existing five-door hatch.
Finally the brand-building Cascada, chosen as an image leader rather than a volume seller, will also be retired locally, with no replacement available in the near term.
Buyers still looking to get into a Insignia, Astra coupe, or Cascada may still be in luck, with limited dealer stock remaining according to Holden spokesman.