Opel is to launch in Australia next year, following hard on the heels of recent news the GM European division is to start in Israel and Chile.

The brand will be sold as a stand-alone product for the first time in Australia, although domestic consumers have been accustomed to the Holden marque, which sold vehicles such as the Astra for some time.

"Opel has a really good line up - initial launch volumes will be in the low thousands - we have realistic, conservative goals for the brand," Holden chairman and managing director Mike Devereux told just-auto at the opening today (10 January) of this year's Detroit show.

"We will intelligently position the brand and from an interaction stand point, those premium types of customers in Australia, we don't really see them with Holden customers - it is not for the Holden consumer."

The Australian portfolio will include the new generation Opel vehicles, Insignia, Astra and upgraded Corsa, with the full model line-up to be announced nearer to launch.

"Australia is one of the most important new opportunities for Opel as we continue to reposition Opel as a global European brand in markets such as the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and South America," said Opel CEO Nick Reilly.