Despite a number of Opel products being dropped from the local line-up, the new Astra could be available here from 2010. "Opel is not being dropped," GMSA president Steve Koch told Wheels24 recently. "Opel is by far the strongest brand for us (GMSA); it would be foolish of us to drop it," Koch added.The Meriva MPV, Zafira MPV and Tigra convertible models have been culled due to reduced buyer activity. Astra remains on the GMSA pricelist, but henceforth 1.6, i.8 and OPC derivatives will be available on order. All Astra GTC derivatives are discontinued. However, the "rationalisation of certain platforms" described by vice president of sales and marketing Malcolm Gauld is spurred by the current economic situation. Niche products"Sales in niche segments have become so low, it doesn't make sense for dealers to carry these niche models," Gauld continued, making reference to Meriva, Zafira and Tigra. "If people don't buy Meriva, Zafira and Tigra, we can't sell them," Koch added. However, should the economic condition improve, there is a possibility that these models could be re-introduced in South Africa. "We would bring these models if sufficient demand exists and the price can be justified," Gauld said. Should this happen, expect new Astra to be available in South Africa from late 2010 into early 2011. Both Koch and Gauld stressed that despite the trimming of the Opel line-up, the Corsa Ute, Vivaro nine-seater bus and Corsa hatch, which was recently expanded to include a five-door 1.6 Sport model, will remain on sale in South Africa.