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    Holden Ute Not Coming Due To High Tarrifs


    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    August 22, 2012

    The dream of the Holden Ute coming to the states has made a resurgence when General Motors announced the Holden Commodore would be coming as the Chevrolet SS. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news to the small group who cling onto this dream, but the Ute will not be coming.

    A report from the Herald Sun states that if Holden was to export the Ute to the U.S., the vehicle would fall under a light commercial tariff rate of 35%, three times higher than the tariff for passenger vehicles.

    "We were hopeful at one stage, we thought we might be able to duck in under it, but it was ruled out. With the dollar where it is, exports can only be pursued that are niche ... and profitable in this environment," said Richard Phillips, Holden's executive director of manufacturing.

    Source: Herald Sun

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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    That is disappointing. The only silver lining is that the Chevy SS and El Camino replacement are (or will be) built here in North America. Australia is great and all, but we need the jobs and work here.

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    I would have expected that the US-AU free trade agreement eliminated the tariff for Australian light trucks.

    With the VF Commodore intro just a few months away, it's probably not worth the trouble of bringing it here now. I'd rather them spend the tooling up Oshawa to handle VF Ute production.

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    Same old, same old.

    I care less and less about new GM products every day, and the one that might change my mind never comes.

    Edited by Camino LS6
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    It's that cut and dried for me.

    If it ever does come to Oshawa, likely it will only be offered in a v6 automatic - they can keep it if that's the case.

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    It's that cut and dried for me.

    If it ever does come to Oshawa, likely it will only be offered in a v6 automatic - they can keep it if that's the case.

    why would you make that assumption? If it came to Oshawa it would likely be because it is sharing with Camaro.

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    It's that cut and dried for me.

    If it ever does come to Oshawa, likely it will only be offered in a v6 automatic - they can keep it if that's the case.

    why would you make that assumption? If it came to Oshawa it would likely be because it is sharing with Camaro.

    Not really.

    The word I have picked up on goes as this. 2015 The Camaro is going Alpha and it will move to a new plant in Canada. It may be at Oshawa but not on the same line it is now.

    Once that line is free'd up it would pick up the Caprice police cars due to the fact GM has had issues with many department not being able to buy an import police car. Also issues with value of the dollar etc. If moved to Canada the import issue is not in play as they are not considered imported if from NA.

    They also may move the Super Sport here after a short import run. GM is also looking at the possibility to also do a V6 version here for Chevy too.

    If they expand the old Camaro line for these models it would create the perfect place for this.

    I had hope because of the small numbers they would have gotten a break on the tarrif but it was not to be. If the could do these in Canada there is no terrif and with the number of other VF based models being built it would make a low volume ute possible.

    GM will not live or die with or without a ute but it would be nice to offer something no one else has.

    But agai if the economy does not improve it could scuttle a lot of plans on a lot of things.

    Edited by hyperv6
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    It's that cut and dried for me.

    If it ever does come to Oshawa, likely it will only be offered in a v6 automatic - they can keep it if that's the case.

    why would you make that assumption? If it came to Oshawa it would likely be because it is sharing with Camaro.

    Hyper has the right of this, it won't be sharing with Camaro. As for the rest, I expect that some asshat beancounter will decide that it only makes sense to sell it as a V6 automatic. It would be the crowning insult after all of the false starts this thing has had.

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    So, GM is not as clever as Ford or Subaru, both of which have skirted the chicken tax without trouble. Bolt seats in the bed and get it over with.

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    So, GM is not as clever as Ford or Subaru, both of which have skirted the chicken tax without trouble. Bolt seats in the bed and get it over with.

    Good point.

    Also, why wasn't this an issue when the G8ST was approved?

    Just more excuses from GM.

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    So people would have to buy a Ute with useless seats occupying the box. Then they'd have to remove the seats, remove the fixtures and buy a custom bed-liner that would accommodate for the modifications made? I guess a spray-on liner would be OK, but then wouldn't you have holes where the seat rail bolts are?

    I'm sure there's a huge market for that.

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    • Built a Ute
    • Throw some seats in the bed while it's exiting the assembly line
    • Ship to America Land
    • ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿
    • PROFIT! (but probably not)

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    So people would have to buy a Ute with useless seats occupying the box. Then they'd have to remove the seats, remove the fixtures and buy a custom bed-liner that would accommodate for the modifications made? I guess a spray-on liner would be OK, but then wouldn't you have holes where the seat rail bolts are?

    I'm sure there's a huge market for that.

    Yep, just like extra seats taking up the area in the back of the Transit Connect Cargo Van... They ship 'em over here full of seats as a "Passenger Vehicle" and remove the seats and interior behind the B pillar and send the seats back to Europe. If that is cost effective for the Transit Connect, it could work for the Holden Ute.

    Wow, it would be SOOOO hard to put some sealant on some plastic plugs once the seats are removed. Geez.

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    Ford builds the Transit in Turkey. They put windows in the side and a seat in the back and make a truck a car. They then import it then trash the seat and the glass to make a truck. No Tarrif.

    The issue is they sell a hell of a lot more Transits vs what they would utes. Also the fact is the seat in the back of the Transit meets safety standards where a seat in the back of a ute would requre a roll bar etc.

    The point is you can fudge this only so far and not the ute.

    I see no issue with a 320 plus V6 being offered as it would only increase the volume and keep a car like safe in production. As gas prices climb V8 sales and truck sales drop. The V6 could just keep a car line like this alive.

    It is ok not to buy one but at least have the sense that it would increase volume at a low cost. The fact is even with police sales this car will never be over 50,000 units at best case.

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    So, GM is not as clever as Ford or Subaru, both of which have skirted the chicken tax without trouble. Bolt seats in the bed and get it over with.

    Good point.

    Also, why wasn't this an issue when the G8ST was approved?

    Just more excuses from GM.

    Different time and different place and much worse economy.

    The fact is I think they are just waiting to move things here vs just doing it for one year down under. They have gone to the point to say they could even export models from Canada.

    There is a lot more in play here.

    Lets face it the Super Sport was delayed because of the engine and moved up a little because of NASCAR. GM has been walking a tight rope on getting things done with the coming and going of drivetrains and platforms.

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    The Transit Connect is designed to have seats right from the factory. The Ute isn't, meaning more money would have to be spent just developing a proper set of seats, safety equipment and an assembly process.

    This is an already pricey vehicle and I doubt its target audience will spend north of 35K to buy it. And then even more cash to have the dealer take off the installed equipment.

    Who really wants to buy a vehicle that needs to be 'fixed' when it's at the dealer? This isn't a question of beancounting. Nobody in any business would in their right mind allow this. Especially GM, which was bailed out and has a legion of naysayers out to find any excuse to chastise the company. Those people would have a field day.

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    Like I said, keep an eye on Oshawa and the VF program. Yes, we won't get the Ute as long as Australia is bulding the VF family of cars exclusively. But, if you backtrack a bit you'll notice that it's strongly hinted that some production of the VF cars will move out of Australia in the very near future. When that happens — when the Chevrolet SS moves to Oshawa, anyway — the chances of the Ute coming to America will increase.

    I also find it interesting that, locally, the Kentucky State Police has begun to phase out their Crown Victorias in favor of the Caprice, with 125 units being purchased — 100 for use by the KSP and 25 for use by the Commerical Enforcement Division. It's my understanding that the KSP was actually considering holding out for the Taurus Interceptor because of the Caprice's Made-In-Australia origin. I have to wonder what changed their mind?

    Edited by black-knight
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    Not to be the skunk at the picnic, but bringing a Ute to North America is an incredibly dumb idea. American's like trucks. If the truck has a crew cab and all-wheel drive, the better. It is not like Americans don't know what a ute is. The Chevrolet El Camino and the Ford Ranchero drove the American highway system for decades. They were marketed to people who needed utility, but did not want a drive something with the stigma of a farm or work vehicle.

    Today, the world is upside down. Trucks today are cool. The bigger, the badder, the better. The most popular vehicle in the USA is the F-150 pickup truck. The Chevrolet Silverado is one of Chevrolet's top sellers.

    It is interesting that to date, Ford has not seen fit to revive the Ranchero. Chevrolet has not seen fit to revive the El Camino. No major Japanese manufacturer, not Toyota, not Nissan, not Honda, not Mitsubishi has seen fit to jump into the ute business. The Koreans, the Germans, and the Italians have all chosen to stay on the sidelines.

    Do ute fans know something that all of these manufacturers don't know? Its possible, but I don't think so.

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    Like I said, keep an eye on Oshawa and the VF program. Yes, we won't get the Ute as long as Australia is bulding the VF family of cars exclusively. But, if you backtrack a bit you'll notice that it's strongly hinted that some production of the VF cars will move out of Australia in the very near future. When that happens — when the Chevrolet SS moves to Oshawa, anyway — the chances of the Ute coming to America will increase.

    I also find it interesting that, locally, the Kentucky State Police has begun to phase out their Crown Victorias in favor of the Caprice, with 125 units being purchased — 100 for use by the KSP and 25 for use by the Commerical Enforcement Division. It's my understanding that the KSP was actually considering holding out for the Taurus Interceptor because of the Caprice's Made-In-Australia origin. I have to wonder what changed their mind?

    At least someone here has the right idea.

    Price may have changed their minds. Cost of repair too since the other car is AWD in most cases.

    Also we need to consider the fact that the new Colorado is coming and to intro both at the same time would more damage than good. The ute is a limited market to start with and to sell a small truck beside it for less would take away more sales.

    The UTE is limited and will need all the sales they can. There are fans out there but even I would balk at $35K and if there was a crew cab small truck for less it would be hard for be to justify. I would end up paying alittle more and just by the sedan for the wife and a truck for me.

    Moving to Canada would lower cost or at least I hope it would.

    Edited by hyperv6
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      The current Chevrolet Traverse has been with us for nine years and it was time for a replacement. This morning at the Detroit Auto Show, Chevrolet introduced the 2018 Traverse.
      The new Traverse's shape carries the spirit of the last-generation GMC Acadia. The shape is boxier with both the front and rear being squared-off. Chevrolet's new dual grille design and narrow headlights are present. In terms of size, the Traverse has grown with overall length measuring 204.3 inches long, riding on a 120.9-inch wheelbase. This makes it slightly bigger than a Chevrolet Tahoe (203.9 inches long, 116-inch overall wheelbase). Despite the increase in size, Chevrolet was able to slice off 351 pounds from the new Traverse (note: comparing front-wheel drive models).
      Inside, Chevrolet promises best in class head and legroom for those sitting in the second and third-row seats. This does come at a price as cargo space does decrease. Behind the third-row, the Traverse will offer 23 cubic feet, which beats the likes the Ford Explorer (21 cubic feet). Fold both rows and space increases to 99 cubic feet. Other interior details include either seven or eight-inch infotainment touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility; OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi, and USB ports for all three-rows.
      Most Traverse models will come with the existing 3.6L V6 producing 305 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. This has us scratching our heads since this engine was one our biggest issues with the current Chevrolet Traverse (and Buick Enclave). The new Traverse RS will use a new 2.0L turbo-four making 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Again, this is slightly odd as the RS is being positioned as the sporty-looking model with blacked-out elements. Both engines will come paired with a nine-speed automatic and front-wheel drive. The V6 will only have the option of all-wheel drive. Speaking of all-wheel drive, the top-line High Country will come with the twin-clutch all-wheel drive system found in the Cadillac XT5. This system can decouple the rear-axle to help with fuel economy.
      The 2018 Chevrolet Traverse arrives at dealers this fall.
      Source: Chevrolet
      Press Release is on Page 2
      The 2018 Chevrolet Traverse will arrive at dealers this fall.
      Chevrolet Introduces the 2018 Traverse
      Bold, refined new look with expected segment-best cargo space, third-row legroom DETROIT — Chevrolet today introduced the all-new 2018 Traverse. Wrapped in bold and refined styling, the completely redesigned Traverse offers technologies to help keep passengers of all ages and lifestyles comfortable and connected.
      Traverse will deliver what is expected to be best-in-class third-row legroom, maximum cargo room and passenger volume with an enhanced roster of available active safety features. 
      “The all-new Traverse offers the ultimate in style and convenience for the segment, with the versatility customers need and a thoughtful, spacious design they’ll love,” said Alan Batey, president of GM North America and brand chief, Global Chevrolet. “It’s the midsize SUV designed to help keep you safe, comfortable and connected.”
      When it goes on sale this fall, the 2018 Traverse will be the fourth updated crossover or SUV from Chevrolet within a year, joining the Trax, Bolt EV and 2018 Equinox, further strengthening the brand’s crossover and SUV lineup.
      “Nobody in the industry offers a broader, fresher lineup of SUVs and crossovers than Chevrolet,” said Batey. “From the all-electric Bolt EV to America’s longest-running nameplate, Suburban, we’ve got something for every customer and lifestyle.”
      Bold and refined 
      The 2018 Traverse has a new look inspired by Chevrolet’s full-size SUVs, with purposeful proportions complemented by premium cues such as chrome accents, LED signature lighting and available D-Optic LED headlamps.
      Chevrolet is adding two new trim levels for the 2018 Traverse — the sporty RS and luxurious High Country — to offer customers more choices for a personalized appearance.
      The new RS package includes unique, blacked-out exterior cues with a black chrome grille, black bowtie, 20-inch wheels and more.
      The High Country trim features premium content and technology, including a unique interior trim featuring Loft Brown leather appointments with suede accents, 20-inch polished wheels, High Country badging, D-Optic headlamps, standard twin-clutch AWD and power-fold third row seats.
      “The all-new Traverse blends Chevrolet’s characteristic SUV cues with capability and refinement,” said John Cafaro, executive director, Global Chevrolet Design. “Inside and out, it offers style with a purpose.”
      With available seating for up to eight and a longer wheelbase than the current model, the Traverse has few peers when it comes to capacity and roominess. In fact, the new Traverse is expected to offer best-in-class passenger volume as well as max cargo room at 98.5 cubic feet (2,789 liters), while greater storage options and larger bins throughout the ergonomically optimized cabin are designed to enhance convenience and versatility.
      Loading the Traverse is a breeze with a new Chevrolet bowtie logo lamp feature illuminating the ground to show where drivers need to place a foot to activate the available hands-free power liftgate.
      A new split-folding second-row seat improves on the Traverse’s original Smart Slide® feature. The curbside seat is capable of tipping up and sliding forward, even with a forward-facing child seat in place, to provide open and easy access to the third row.  Third-row legroom is expected to be the most spacious in the segment at 33.7 inches (856 mm).
      Connected and protected
      The 2018 Traverse offers purposeful technology designed to help keep passengers safe, comfortable and connected.
      Chevrolet’s latest connectivity technologies include available 7- and 8-inch-diagonal MyLink infotainment systems designed to support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as an available OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are products of Apple and Google and their terms and privacy statements apply.  Requires compatible smartphone and data plan rates apply.)
      Passengers will have access to USB charging ports in all three seating rows, available wireless charging and steering wheel-mounted phone and audio controls. Chevrolet’s Rear Seat Reminder feature is standard on all trim levels.
      When it comes to helping to protect passengers, a comprehensive suite of available safety technologies and adaptive crash-avoidance features offers ease of use and added peace of mind, with new available features including:
      Surround Vision D-Optic LED headlamps (standard on High Country and Premier) Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning Front Pedestrian Braking Forward Collision Alert Low and High-Speed Forward Automatic Braking. Teen Driver is standard, allowing parents to set certain controls and review performance in order to help encourage better driving habits, even when parents are not in the vehicle. 
      Performance and efficiency
      A new 3.6L V-6 and nine-speed automatic transmission form the standard propulsion system, expected to offer nearly 10 percent more horsepower than the current model and a GM-estimated 25 mpg highway (FWD). The combination also supports an estimated 5,000-pound (2,268 kg) trailering capacity when properly equipped.
      Sporting the new RS trim, the Traverse will exclusively feature a 2.0L turbocharged engine that provides a unique driving experience, with more maximum torque than the V-6. It is also paired with the nine-speed automatic transmission.
      Both engines feature new intelligent stop/start technology that determines the best times for fuel-saving engine-stop events, based on a variety of driving factors.
      New Traction Mode Select is standard on all models and allows the driver to make real-time adjustments to the vehicle’s driving mode to account for varying road conditions. On available AWD models, it also allows the system to be completely disconnected from the rear axle, which helps save fuel and enhances refinement.
      High Country’s exclusive Advanced AWD system employs twin-clutch technology that optimizes traction for every condition it encounters. It is engineered for optimal performance in wet, snowy and icy conditions, while also providing enhanced stability in dry conditions.

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