Available on local shores since 1993, two years after going on sale in Europe as part of the Opel linage, the local arm of the Stellantis-owned automaker has confirmed that the new Astra L won’t be coming to South Africa anytime soon.
Unveiled earlier this month as the first Astra not to have any input from former parent company General Motors (GM) since the nameplate’s founding by UK sister brand Vauxhall for the Kadett D in 1979, Opel South Africa – responding to a user on Twitter enquiring about local availability – said “we have received confirmation that the new Astra will not be made available in South Africa”.
The announcement, though, could potentially be reserved after the Blitz, while still owned by GM, made a similar statement in 2009 after the American giant confirmed it was offloading both Opel and Vauxhall to a consortium comprising of parts supplier Magna and Russia’s Sberbank. The deal eventually didn’t go through, with GM retaining control of both brands and making the then new Astra J available on South African shores with the now-outgoing Astra K following in 2016.
Despite renouncing the Astra, the Rüsselsheim-based marque, in a secondary tweet, confirmed it would be bringing a hybrid model to local shores, but stopped short of providing any further details.
The model in question, though, is likely to be the recently facelifted Grandland, now without the X suffix, seeing as it currently rates as Opel’s only other hybrid model, and after it was confirmed for local availability by Stellantis during a product presentation unveiling in May at the launch of the updated Citroën C3.
As in Europe, the hybrid Grandland combines the existing 1.6 PureTech turbocharged petrol engine with an electric motor for an output of 165 kW, though a more powerful unit, the Hybrid4, produces 221 kW thanks to the inclusion of a second motor mounted on the rear axle that results in it being four-wheel-drive.
Expect a more detailed announcement to be made in due course.