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Sydney show: Holden’s pole Volt position

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GM’s range-extending Volt electricar and EcoLine hit Holden’s greenest-ever stand


HOLDEN shocked the industry at the Australian International Motor Show this morning with the unexpected unveiling of the Chevrolet Volt electric car.

The environmental theme did not stop there, with Holden’s announcement of its EcoLine range of alternative-fuel and new fuel-saving technology-equipped vehicles.

Underlining this was the debut of Holden’s Active Fuel Management (AFM) cylinder deactivation technology in V8 automatic models, rounding out an especially green-tinged display over at the red corner in Sydney today.

However, there is no sign of the AFM-equipped versions of the locally-made V6, despite the engine being available on overseas models.

Leading the charge, so to speak, is the Volt, a vehicle whose concept – GM hopes – will catapult the corporation strongly into its second century.

The Volt’s Sydney show debut is less than a month after GM unveiled the car at its 100-year anniversary celebration in Detroit, and a week since the press witnessed its world motor show premiere in Paris.

Holden is working very hard to have the Volt on sale in Australia sometime in 2012, less than two years after the Chevrolet version is launched in North America in late 2010.

Whether Volt arrives wearing Holden badges in Australia remains the subject of speculation.

However, GoAuto believes this is something that Holden is striving for – in the same manner that GM’s European affiliates Vauxhall and Opel want their ‘own’ version – particularly as the Volt would represent each brand’s environmental flagship.

GM hopes to sell the Volt in America for around $US40,000 ($A56,000), so the Holden Astra-sized five-door hatch will not come cheap when it gets here.

A chassis of the Volt’s internal workings is also on display at Sydney to explain the point of difference between GM’s E-REV (Extended-Range Electric Vehicle) hybrid and others currently available – namely the Toyota Prius and Honda Civic Hybrid.

The Volt’s Sydney show debut so soon after its global unveiling reflects how vital such a car is for Holden.

“It is a reflection of the importance of the Australian market for General Motors that a vehicle as significant as Volt has been provided for this show,” said GM Holden chairman and managing director Mark Reuss.

“As we move forward, it will be innovative solutions such as Volt that will sustain global motoring by reducing our dependence on foreign oil.”

Meanwhile, the EcoLine sub-brand kicks off in the first quarter of next year.

The badge will find its way on the LPG Commodore and its derivatives, as well as the diesel-powered Astra and Epica, and the Captiva 2WD diesel (which is being pitched as the eco choice compared to the 4WD version).

While most diesel-powered passenger car models qualify for the EcoLine badge, Holden has chosen not to employ it on diesel commercial vehicles.

The AFM V8-powered Commodore, Ute, Sportwagon, Statesman and Caprice will also boast EcoLine.

AFM technology enables a V8 to operate automatically on four cylinders in certain driving conditions, until more power is needed.

Up to 1L/100km of petrol can be saved, and more in constant cruising speeds. The downside is that AFM V8s lose around three per cent of their output – or about 10kW of power – compared to the regular V8.

Holden says EcoLine is an instant point of differentiation for consumers, to help them make their decision easier.

On the performance front, the VE Commodore-based Coupe 60 from the Melbourne International Motor Show travelled north for the Sydney crowds, partly as a homage to the 10th anniversary showing of the historic Holden Coupe concept that wowed show-goers at the 1998 event, which eventually went on to become the reborn Monaro in 2001.

Other models to make their motor show debut on Holden’s 24-model stand this morning included the recently facelifted Model Year 09 TK Barina and EP Epica, the Captiva 2WD, and the Rodeo light-truck replacement, the RC Colorado.

Link: http://www.goauto.com.au/mellor/mellor.nsf...A2574DC0027A252

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If it comes to OZ as a Chevy, there's a message in that, just remember Chevy is the world brand.

At the price point, I don't think bringing it to Oz as a Chevy is a smart move.

Doesn't Chevy just peddle small, cheap cars there? I thought the divisional set up there was Chevy/Holden/Cadillac (Or maybe that was the plan at one point)

That would make the Volt prime for either Holden or Cadillac.

I hope Holden gets its own version. Then maybe that version can be the first Pontiac E-Flex. :)

BTW, does the G8 feature AFM?!?! (I can't remember -- I must be getting old)

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM
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At the price point, I don't think bringing it to Oz as a Chevy is a smart move.

Doesn't Chevy just peddle small, cheap cars there? I thought the divisional set up there was Chevy/Holden/Cadillac (Or maybe that was the plan at one point)

I don't think Chevy is even in Australia...I know in Europe they have Daewoo generics badged as Chevys, Holdens badged as Chevys in the Middle East, Opels in Mexico and South America as Chevys, etc..

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Both would be viable here in the US.

Both CNG and LPG powered cars have been in the US for years, in fleets... I remember 20 years ago they were using Dodge Diplomats that were LPG (propane) powered in some Florida county police departments....

Edited by moltar
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