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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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      DRIVING ASSISTANCE SYSTEMS
      No other model in the segment offers such a wide range of intelligent technologies as the new edition of the Vauxhall flagship.
      One of the highlights is the next generation of Vauxhall’s innovative and award-winning IntelliLux LED matrix light. It now has 32 LED segments – twice as many as in the Astra – that are all integrated in the new slimmer headlamps of the Insignia. The increased number of LED elements enables the various light patterns to adapt to the prevailing traffic situation even more precisely and the transitions between the modes are more seamless. This results in an improvement of both the quality of light distribution and light intensity. To improve visibility even further while driving through curves on full high beam, the engineers added a new function to the new Insignia’s IntelliLux LED matrix headlights. The light intensity at the inner matrix segments rises according to steering angle in order to increase the illumination of the curve. In addition, a further high-beam spotlight provides additional illumination at full high-beam for up to 400 meters.
      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 windscreen and in the driver’s direct line of sight ensuring that the eyes remain on the road. Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), which measures the distance to vehicle in front and adapts the speed accordingly. ACC will initiate automatic emergency braking if the distance decreases abruptly. Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning. Provides gentle steering wheel movements (and LDW alerts if necessary) to help drivers avoid accidents due to 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. COMFORT AND INFOTAINMENT
      Vauxhall is still one of the few manufacturers to offer seats certified by “Aktion Gesunder Rücken” (Campaign for Healthy Backs). The premium ergonomic seats in the Insignia offer a unique combination of side bolster settings, massage, memory and ventilation functions in addition to the standard setting possibilities. Passenger in the rear can also look forward to more comfort with the two outside seats being available with optional seat heating. Elsewhere, the heated windscreen guarantees good visibility quickly on cold winter days. In addition, keyless “Open & Start” comes as standard on all trim levels and enables comfortable access to the vehicle.
      Great entertainment and outstanding connectivity, both typical for Vauxhall, are provided by the latest Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible IntelliLink systems. And while the smartphone is seamlessly integrated into the vehicle’s infotainment it can also be charged wirelessly without the use of a cable. The ground-breaking connectivity and service assistant Vauxhall OnStar is also on board, offering services ranging from Automatic Crash Response to Stolen Vehicle Assistance. A new concierge service will be launched together with the Insignia Grand Sport, enabling its occupants to ask OnStar advisors to select a hotel and proceed to room reservation. Furthermore, up to seven devices can be connected to the Wi-Fi Hotspot.
      Next-Generation Holden Commodore Breaks Cover – Brings Premium Technology To The People
      First images of Holden’s cutting-edge Next Generation Commodore released   Commodore takes technology usually seen only in high-end premium vehicles and brings it to the people Most advanced Commodore ever includes: autonomous emergency braking, adaptive suspension, 360-degree camera, adaptive cruise control and matrix lighting V6 flagship boasts 230kW and 370Nm, world-first ‘Twinster’ all-wheel drive system and 9-speed transmission for the first time ever on a Holden   Next-generation Holden Commodore on sale in 2018  Holden has today revealed first images and more details of the all-new Commodore ahead of its Australian launch early in 2018. The next-gen Commodore takes cutting-edge safety, driving and infotainment technology and makes it available for today’s Australians, everywhere. The next-generation Holden Commodore is democratizing technology.
      Now with images of the next Commodore breaking cover, Australia gets its first look at the sleek and sophisticated design that will be hitting Australian roads in 2018. Designed in Germany by the Opel team with input from GM Holden’s team, the new Commodore takes the best of Europe and makes it great for Australia.
      Building on information released last month regarding the next-generation Commodore, Holden has today confirmed a raft of premium technologies will make Commodore the most technologically-advanced Holden ever. From potentially life-saving safety technology features, to active driving technology and seamless infotainment, the all-new Commodore will make driving safer, easier, more involving and more connected than ever before for Australian customers.
      “Customers are expecting more of their vehicles than ever before,” said Holden’s Executive Director of Sales, Peter Keley. “The all-new 2018 Commodore redefines the level of technology people can expect, and how tech can help our customers be safer, more involved and more connected than ever before. The Commodore combines technology across a number of areas in a way that you would usually only find in high-end prestige vehicles and makes it available for everyday Australians. Combined with the howling V6, world-first all-wheel-drive system and all the on-road performance you expect from the Commodore, this is a car that ticks all the boxes and more,” said Mr Keley.
      Going on sale in Australia early in 2018, the new Commodore range will be headlined by the V6 flagship model, the first ever imported Commodore will honour the iconic nameplate by being the most technologically-advanced Holden ever. With a cutting-edge all-wheel-drive system channeling 230 kilowatts and 370 Newton metres to the road, combined with adaptive suspension technology, a company-first nine-speed automatic transmission and torque-vectoring all-wheel drive, the next-generation Commodore will continue to cement Holden’s reputation for class-leading driving dynamics and on-road refinement.
      Jeremy Tassone, Holden’s Engineering Group Manager for Vehicle Development, said the technical underpinnings of the next Commodore also represents Holden’s commitment to bringing the best vehicles from around the word to Australian customers.
      “From its cutting-edge all-wheel-drive system, to nine-speed transmission and adaptive suspension, this is a true driver’s car in the way Commodore has always been. We’re taking the best of Europe and making it even better for our Australian customers. I can’t wait for our customers to get behind the wheel”
      In addition to the Commodore’s unique all-wheel-drive system, further details surrounding the ‘FlexRide’ suspension system have also been confirmed. The continuously adaptable FlexRide chassis electro-hydraulically adapts the dampers to the road and the driving conditions 500 times per second or 30,000 times per minutes.
      Additionally, the driver can save personal preferences for the steering characteristics, throttle response and dampers via the ‘Sport’ button.
      ‘Standard’: The automatic control selects the best set-up based on the information collected by the vehicle sensors. ‘Tour’: Comfortable chassis configuration, and throttle response for best fuel consumption and most relaxed touring. The right mode for relaxing long-distance drives. ‘Sport’: Brake dive is reduced, flat and responsive chassis control at high speeds and the throttle and steering provide more direct feedback. The new central ‘Drive Mode Control’ software is the heart and soul of the adaptive chassis. It continuously analyses the information provided by the sensors and setting and recognizes the individual driving style. The individual systems are then optimized for the best traction and road position.
      Exterior Design:
      The design of the next Commodore is based on the ‘Monza’ Concept car, created by the Opel Design team in Germany. The prominent front grille and the slim-line headlamps are directly inspired by the Monza Concept enhance the wide horizontal gesture of the front end and provide it with a bold appearance. The grille sits lower than on the outgoing model and further emphasises the solid stance.
      The side window graphics feature with an upper chrome strip, rather than a full-chrome treatment, and the coupé-like roofline graphically pull the car down and emphasize its stretched appearance. The ‘blade’ light catcher in the lower doors pulls attention rearwards. The new Commodore is as sleek as it looks: it has an exemplary drag factor of 0.26 making it one of the most aerodynamic vehicles in its class.
      At the rear, clear and simple lines combined with the slim, precise double-wing LED signature also give the car a wider appearance. The newly designed center high-mounted LED stop lamp has been integrated into the roofline. It helps to give the rear end a more high-tech look typical of premium brands’ vehicles.
      Interior Design: 
      The attention to the smallest detail is also evident inside the Commodore. The cockpit is organized along horizontal lines, enhancing the feeling of elegant lightness and of space. The cockpit is orientated to the driver for a sportier feeling. The generous center console that further embraces the driver provides the feeling of sitting in a much larger class of vehicle. Clean lines, modern surfaces and first-class craftsmanship with soft-feel materials at all touch points contribute to a feeling of elegance and grace.
      Infotainment system design:
      Equal attention has been paid to the controls and the infotainment interface. The frameless touchscreen of the infotainment system exudes a sophisticated and technical charm. Many functions are controlled via the touchscreen in order to simplify the interface, while three clusters of buttons have been designed to allow quick and intuitive operations: the upper ones for the major functions of the infotainment system, the central ones for climate and heating controls, the lower ones for driver assistant controls. This very clear set-up avoids drivers and passengers having to dive into sub-menus on the touchscreen to find the most essential functions.
      NEXT-GENERATION COMMODORE KEY HIGHLIGHTS:
      Cutting-edge driver assistance systems and technology: Autonomous Emergency Braking Adaptive Cruise Control Speed Limit Cruise Control Lane Departure Warning Lane Keep Assist Forward Collision Alert Side Blind-Zone Alert Rear Cross-Traffic Alert 360-degree Camera Next-generation comfort and convenience technologies: Massage Seats Rear one-touch folding seats Heated Front and Rear seats Ventilated Front seats Express up/down all windows Wagon power lift-gate Active Noise Cancellation Program overview: 
      Next-generation Commodore built in Germany on all-new, global E2 architecture shared with Opel Insignia Lightweight construction methods result in approximately 200kg weight savings compared to current Commodore Flagship model offers V6 AWD drivetrain with Holden-first 9-speed transmission V6 engine delivers 230kW / 370Nm while being incredibly efficient thanks to Stop-Start technology and Active Fuel Management 2.0T petrol and 2.0T diesel front-wheel drive models also coming to Australia Liftback and Sportwagon body-styles Cutting-edge, adaptive all-wheel-drive system with torque vectoring and twin-clutch (‘Twinster’) rear differential system Adaptive ‘Flexride’ suspension system offers three settings: ‘Tour’, ‘Standard’ and ‘Sport’  Next-generation matrix lighting system Infotainment includes: Apple Car Play and Android Auto 8-inch configurable LCD instrument display, next-gen head-up display Previous Page Next Page
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