The reason for the delay has been the need to upgrade General Motors' plant in Gliwice, Poland, in preparation for production of the Agila. Suzuki's equivalent, the Wagon R+, has been on sale in the UK since September 1997 and 6,000 units have been sold.
A Vauxhall spokesman said: 'We have been going through the preparations for full production which has meant our car coming out so much longer after its Suzuki equivalent, the Wagon R+. The Agila is not a Suzuki copy. It has its own engines and interiors.'
The Agila is just 3,500mm long, but offers seating for four adults and a luggage capacity of around 250 to 600 litres, up to the top edge of the front seat backs. The 50:50 split rear seats can be folded down to create a completely flat load space. It will be powered by two ECOTEC petrol engines, a 1.0-litre 12v and 1.2 16v, delivering 58bhp and 75bhp respectively and delivering 47mpg and 42mpg in the combined cycle.