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    Belgian Entrepreneur Wants To Save the Commodore and Elizabeth Factory


    • The Plan to Save Holden's Elizabeth Plant and the Commodore (minus the name)

    The clock is ticking away before the end of the Holden Commodore and the Elizabeth in 2017. But Motoring.com.au says a Belgian Entrepreneur wants to buy GM's Elizabeth plant and the assets to the Commodore to build out a range of rear and all-wheel drive vehicles.

     

    In late November, Motoring first got wind of this plan. The person in question is Guido Dumarey, owner of the Punch Group (also known as Punch International). He has been working on a plan to buy the plant and all of the tooling since GM announced the end of Australian production and the Commodore.

     

    To understand why Dumarey wants to save the Elizabeth plant and all of the tooling, we need to set the stage. In the portfolio of Punch Group is a former GM transmission plant that was bought in 2013 and is now called Punch Powerglide Strasbourg. The plant produces the automatic transmission for the V6 Commodore. It is through this that Dumarey has developed an understanding of a number items and factors such the plant, the Zeta platform, and the support by the Australian government to keep automotive production going.

     

    The report says Dumarey began making inquiries about buying the plant and all of the tooling in 2013. In 2014, he began to meet with government officials to discuss his plans. It is believed that former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott wasn't interested in the plan. But with a new Prime Minster, Dumarey may get some interest.

     

    Now at the time of the first report, Dumarey decline to comment on the record about this plan. But as an aside, he said 'the project was at an early and delicate stage and bringing it to fruition would be a massive challenge.'

     

    General Motors said at the time they haven't been approached by Dumarey or his company, and any government officials.

     

    This brings us to December and Motoring's second report. They had a chance to speak with Dumarey and he confirmed his bid to buy the plant and the assets for the Commodore. He knows time is against him to buy up the assets.

     

    “Everything is planned. The next step is to inform all the parties with the right plan, and it happens next year. The announcement is that they will close in the end of 2017. In the first six months of next year we must work very hard to find solutions. Two thousand and sixteen is the key year. After ’16 we must not think about it, because all the programs have started to stop and it’s too late,” Dumarey said.

     

    Dumarey believes there is a lot of life in the Zeta platform for which a range of rear and all-wheel drive vehicles could be sold in Australia and elsewhere in the world. The name would be changed from Commodore as GM still holds the rights to it.

     

    “To me rear-wheel drive is premium," said Dumarey.

     

    “I think with the platform you have from Zeta… It’s the perfect platform.”

     

    Durmarey also revealed that he hasn't officially approached GM or Holden with a bid. Rather, he has been working with the government of Australia to gain support to help make his bid successful. This would explain why GM hasn't gotten a bid at the moment.

     

    But there a number of questions that still need to be answered. Would GM allow Durmarey to have the licensing rights for Zeta and the tools? How much is Durmarey offering? If he does get Elizabeth and the rights for Zeta, how long before we start seeing cars?

     

    We recommend reading both Motoring stories as we have only scratched the surface to this big and developing story.

     

    Source: Motoring.com.au, 2

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    Interesting, agree with him that RWD is awesome but wonder if GM would allow him to buy the auto rights to continue to build and create new autos on that platform.

     

    Plus you have to ask if Australia is even willing to pump billions of public dollars into this.

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      Press Release is on Page 2
      Spacious and Sporty: The New Opel Insignia Sports Tourer
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      Easy loader: Tailgate with an extra kick
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      In order to make loading as easy as possible, the tailgate can be opened with a kick, without touching the car. In combination with “Keyless Open” a simple small kicking motion under the rear bumper is enough to open the tailgate (a vehicle silhouette projected onto the ground shows the correct area). A further kicking motion under the bumper will close the tailgate. The clever system can detect any obstruction and stops the mechanism in case of emergency. In addition, for practicability, the height of the opening can be programmed, in case the car is in a garage. Furthermore, the tailgate can still be opened by a switch on the driver’s side of the car, a button at the rear or via the key’s remote control.
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      Wellness: Comfort and connectivity for driver and passengers
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      The cockpit is adapted to the person sitting behind the steering wheel. The driver of the new Insignia Sports Tourer sits lower in the car than before and is surrounded by the instruments and center console, as if sitting in a command center. Clear lines and sculptural surfaces true to the Opel design philosophy contribute further to the elegant appearance. The frameless touchscreen of the IntelliLink system, which is oriented towards the driver, displays a high-class character. In addition to the touchscreen, the controls can be operated intuitively by three rows of buttons. The top row is reserved for the infotainment system, the middle row for heating, ventilation and air conditioning and the bottom row is for driver assistance systems.
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      Elsewhere, the premium, AGR-certified ergonomic front seats in the Insignia offer a unique combination of electric side bolster settings, massage, memory and ventilation functions while the heated windshield guarantees good visibility quickly on cold winter days.
      Top technologies: IntelliLux LED®, 360° camera, active Lane Keep Assist
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      Additional driver assistance systems include:
      Head-up-Display: Information on speed, traffic signs, set speed of speed limiter or navigation direction is projected onto the windshield and in the driver’s direct line of sight ensuring that the eyes remain on the road. 360° camera, which consists of four individual cameras on each side of the car. It enables a 360-degree bird’s-eye view and thus facilitates every parking maneuver. Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), which measures the distance to the vehicle in front and adapts the speed accordingly. ACC will initiate automatic emergency braking if the distance decreases abruptly. Lane Keep Assist with automated steering correction and Lane Departure Warning (LDW). Provides gentle steering wheel movements (and LDW alerts if necessary) to help drivers avoid unintentionally drifting out of their lane. Rear Cross Traffic Alert. The system uses radar sensors in the rear bumper to detect objects coming from up to 20 meters at 90 degrees from the left or right side behind the vehicle, a very useful function when reversing out of a parking spot with limited visibility. Pure fun to drive: Torque vectoring all-wheel drive and broad range of powertrains

      Driving pleasure and safety no matter what the conditions are guaranteed thanks to the Insignia’s new intelligent all-wheel drive system with torque vectoring – the most sophisticated in class. Two electrically controlled multi-plate clutches in the all-wheel drive system replace the usual rear axle differential, providing a much more precise power transmission to each wheel individually, no matter whether the roads are graveled, wet, icy or snowy. When cornering, additional torque is transmitted to the outside rear wheel, sensibly reducing understeering and enabling more precise control. The system reacts within a split-second of the accelerator being pressed, ensuring that the car remains more stable and easier to steer in every situation. In addition, the further improved FlexRide chassis provides the basis for excellent, situation-based driving behavior. FlexRide adapts the dampers, steering, throttle response and shift points (on automatics) independently or based on the modes ‘Standard’, ‘Sport’ or ‘Tour’, which can be selected by the driver. The new central ‘Drive Mode Control’ software is the heart and soul of the adaptive chassis. It continuously analyzes the information provided by the sensors and settings and recognizes the individual driving style.
      When the order books open, the Insignia Sports Tourer will be available with a range of turbocharged gasoline and diesel engines along with latest generation transmissions. An absolute newcomer can be found in the highly efficient eight-speed automatic. It impresses with class-leading shifting comfort and will initially only be available in combination with all-wheel drive.
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    • By William Maley
      Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) has been the home to where some of the maddest Holden V8 sedans and utes announced their swan song to the Zeta-based Commodore with the introduction of their 2017 lineup which includes one being powered by the ZR1's LS9 supercharged V8.
      Before we get to that, let us begin with the 'entry-level' HSV models. Dubbed the '30 Years' range (30 years of being in operation), the eight models will see noticeable improvements in terms of performance and a number of goodies from the HSV GTS. Most models will see a slight boost in power of 13 horsepower and 15 pound-feet of torque for the 6.2L Supercharged LSA V8 to produce a respectable 550 horsepower and 510 pound-feet. The GTS keeps its 577 horsepower and 546 pound-feet.
      All models will get torque-vectoring and a reworked bi-modal exhaust system to provide more noise. The GTS' optional AP Racing brake package becomes available on all of the '30 Years' models.
      Next up is the return of the GTSR. Last used on VL Commodore from 1996, the GTSR takes the 6.2L Supercharged LSA V8 found in the GTS and gets slightly massaged to boost power to 583 horsepower and 546 pound-feet of torque. Six-piston AP Racing brake calipers pair up with cross-drilled two-piece floating rotors. Exterior changes include a new front bumper, wider front fenders, new diffuser, and rear wing. The GTSR will be available in the sedan or ute. It should be noted the GTSR sedan will be the only way to get Magnetic Ride Control.
      You have waited long enough for us to get the the ZR1 powered model. Meet the HSV GTSR W1. Under the hood lies the 6.2L supercharged LS9 with 635 horsepower and 601 pound-feet of torque. This will come paired with a six-speed close-ratio manual transmission. HSV called in Australian-suspension specialist SupaShock to set up a special fixed-rated suspension for the W1. This is said to mimic the Commodore race car in the V8 Supercars series. Before you panic, HSV says the suspension has been tuned in such a way to be somewhat refined for daily driving. A set of wide and sticky Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tires feature a set of forged alloy wheels. HSV plans only building 300 W1 models.
      Prices for the 2017 HSV range begin at $79,990 AUD (about $60,681.23) for the Maloo R8 LSA and climbs to $169,990 AUD (about $128,956.15) for the GTSR W1.
      Source: CarAdvice, Wheels

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