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Commodore for the US, Camaro for Australia

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Commodore for the US, Camaro for Australia

BRUCE NEWTON

Holden looks set to secure a billion dollar export program and get the Chevrolet Camaro muscle car in return.

Charismatic General Motors vice chairman Bob Lutz has today confirmed Chevrolet's interest in the Holden Commodore as a "four-door Corvette" sports model in the USA and also revealed the new Camaro muscle car is likely to be sold in Australia.

Lutz's confirmation of Chevrolet's interest in the Commodore backed up GM North America boss Mark Reuss' comments made exclusively to Drive at the Detroit motor show.

However, his announcement that the Chevrolet Camaro - which is based on a shortened version of the Commodore's Zeta architecture - was a surprise.

Later Holden boss Alan Batey confirmed his interest in the Camaro, but said it could not arrive before 2011 and would be priced somewhere beyond $75,000.

He also said it would most likely retain its Chev badging and be sold through selected Holden dealers.

The 6.2-litre V8 would definitely be coming if the deal was done, the V6 less likely given the poor sales of the old Monaro V6 (just 94 were sold throughout the Monaro's life).

"I think you can pretty much count on a right-hand drive Camaro," Lutz said. "The Camaro at some point will be factory right-hand drive, that is what we are currently looking at with a great deal of focus; be built in the plant in Canada and shipped from here in right-hand drive for right-hand drive markets. Why not?

"Most of the parts are there, all we have to do is reverse the instrument panel. All the right-hand drive bits are a given because of the fact it is a Holden architecture."

The original plan was for Camaro to be built in right as well as left-hand drive but that was killed off by the financial crisis that eventually led to GM's bankruptcy. Now out of chapter 11, government owned and rid of its legacy debt, Lutz says the time is right for GM to ramp up its export program out of its North American plants.

Batey said: "It's all about timing right now, because if you talk to North America they will tell you there is a supply and demand issue. They have too much demand and they can't supply. Would we in Australia like to see the car happen? Yeah it would be great. I think it would add some excitement to our portfolio.

"It's not a business case from our perspective. It's up to them (GM North America) to fund and from our perspective it's how many cars would we want."

The answer to that is not all that many: "It's real niche, I don't think we would do Monaro volumes. A lot would depend on the exchange rate and fuel prices. In an ideal world without the financial crisis the car would have done well."

One complication for Australian supply is the Camaro's great popularity in North America. Taking cars away from local customers for conversion and shipment to small right-hand drive markets such as Australia and the UK doesn't make a great deal of financial sense.

And if local demand for Camaro doesn't diminish until late in its lifecycle it may not be attractive for Holden over a short sales period.

Meanwhile, Lutz said Chevrolet would consider a high-end Commodore-based model for the sports sedan market after current work on developing a Holden Caprice-based police car was completed.

"If we can pull that off and we have the next generation Commodore in as a police vehicle then we want to take a look at reintroducing a civil version as a high-end Chevrolet. Because when you get down to it the thrill of high performance driving is unmatched by anything that doesn't have rear-wheel drive, bags of torque and a nice transmission. So there's a possibility of a premium Chevrolet sedan that would be sold in limited numbers. Think of it as a kind of four-door Corvette,

"We says limited numbers because with US fuel economy legislation we can't afford to sell too many of them."

Batey explained that there were actually two potential models being investigated for the Chevrolet role. The first would be based on the current Commodore and exploit the US homologation conducted for the defunct Pontiac G8. It would have a moderate amount of restyling to look more like a Chev.

However, further out, there is prospect of developing a car specifically for Chevrolet utilising Holden Zeta underpinnings but mated to bespoke Chev bodywork.

"There's a lot of discussion going on at the moment," said Batey. "What we need to do over the next 90 days is bring some of the ideas into a much closer idea so we can start creating some business cases."

link:

http://news.drive.com.au/drive/motor-news/commodore-for-the-us-camaro-for-australia-20100113-m5c1.html

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The 2012 Chevrolet SS lives! YES! This is the GM I know and LOVE. As I have long said if you sell it to the public, they will buy it. (In the case of the Caprice that is!)

Edited by gm4life
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Before anyone gets too excited, I want to point this out

If we can pull that off and we have the next generation Commodore in as a police vehicle then we want to take a look at reintroducing a civil version as a high-end Chevrolet.

The current Commodore isn't coming back, barring a Pontiac reprieve (which while unlikely I wont dismiss). IN all likelihood. we're going to have to wait until 2013 or so, whenever the Commodore is redesigned.

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Billing this car as a "four-door Corvette" is dumb, sorry. Why won't Lutz bill it as a poor man's M5 instead? The G8 was essentially a poor man's 5-series. Even the press agreed with that sentiment.

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Billing this car as a "four-door Corvette" is dumb, sorry. Why won't Lutz bill it as a poor man's M5 instead? The G8 was essentially a poor man's 5-series. Even the press agreed with that sentiment.

the four door corvette stems from this idea that the chev commodore should be limited to the gxp version of the g8, around $35k. so when they say corvette, you should think V8 only, thereby limiting volume and cementing profit margin.....also since the camaro SS is having such a lovely time, GM thinks it should have no problem capitalizing on the performance model success story of the RWD Zeta platform. I agree with that second notion, as long as this car has some desirable sheetmetal, and maybe some more attractive interior detailing [two-tone, enhanced alluminum/wood trim] and maybe some more available options.....this car would be a success to the tune of 30k units per year.

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I was kind of expecting this since about 2.5 weeks ago I was sent a recent picture of a Camaro testing in OZ. His neighbor brought it home from work at GM. He was real excited to see it.

I found it odd that this guys sent me a recent picture of a Camaro test car this late in the game. I had wondered if it was an early move to taylor it to the OZ market.

Since the name Chevy SS has been used I suspected only a V8 for 2012. The balance of the program will be picked up with the Police package. Lets face it the G8 was a limited program too. There was a lot of G8's discounted on dealer lots till they killed Pontiac except for the GXP.

Edited by hyperv6
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4-dr Camaro would have been a more realistic turn of phrase, I can't see them doing at a Corvette price point. Though a Commodore/Chevy SS w/ a ZR1 drivetrain would be interesting.

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I think he means the restyled VE (or VF or whateve the name will be).

Edited by ZL-1
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Before anyone gets too excited, I want to point this out

The current Commodore isn't coming back, barring a Pontiac reprieve (which while unlikely I wont dismiss). IN all likelihood. we're going to have to wait until 2013 or so, whenever the Commodore is redesigned.

Maybe.

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Since the name Chevy SS has been used I suspected only a V8 for 2012. The balance of the program will be picked up with the Police package. Lets face it the G8 was a limited program too. There was a lot of G8's discounted on dealer lots till they killed Pontiac except for the GXP.

G8 was only limited by production capacity at Holden (and GM's mishandling of the car). Even with the deck stacked against it, it was racking-up sales increases in the worst economic environment within recent memory. The cars "siiting on lots" were primarily V6 cars. The G8 was gaining real traction in the market despite the deck being stacked against it in many,many, ways. It did so simply because it is just that good.

Hopefully, with FH the fool gone, Zeta goodness will be headed our way in a number of packages.

But I'm not holding my breath.

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I would love to here PCS's take on this, since now the cat is offically out of the bag. Can't wait for more information on this baby. I would like to see more than just a high performance G8 GT/GXP-ish model, a car including the 3.0L SIDI V6 (the car that gets over 30 mpg US highway) and the higher end 3.6L SIDI along with a V8 or two. Having said that just a performance model think 1994-1996 Impala SS is way better than nothing at all.

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Maybe.

Care to explain? I understand the Caprice will get a re-fresh for the 2012 or 2013 model year, and the Commodore will get one along with it... Do you think they will start selling/shipping units before that? I would love to see it come for the 2012 model year (in 2011) but can't see the General getting her ready that darn quick.

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What I meant was that predicting what GM will do on Zeta is the ultimate crap-shoot.

They could do this in a heartbeat if they chose to.

Or not.

So, maybe.

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What I meant was that predicting what GM will do on Zeta is the ultimate crap-shoot.

They could do this in a heartbeat if they chose to.

Or not.

So, maybe.

I understand. They can make this happen and pretty quickly because the G8 paved the way, and with the Caprice coming for the law I can see it happening. Then again I have gotten my hopes up many times only to get let down, by GM. Having said that Camino would you still be game a Chevrolet El Camino or GMC verison?

Edited by gm4life
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G8 was only limited by production capacity at Holden (and GM's mishandling of the car). Even with the deck stacked against it, it was racking-up sales increases in the worst economic environment within recent memory. The cars "siiting on lots" were primarily V6 cars. The G8 was gaining real traction in the market despite the deck being stacked against it in many,many, ways. It did so simply because it is just that good.

Hopefully, with FH the fool gone, Zeta goodness will be headed our way in a number of packages.

But I'm not holding my breath.

Well last year before GM killed Pontiac I could get a G8 GT at $24K and my GM card would have if I recall give me $2K off on top of that vs the normal $1K. I was loking at $22K for a loaded G8 GT at that time.

I would not say they were dogs in sales but they were not just flying of the lots here in the heart of the midwest where RWD V8 cars are king. I wanted this car to do well and to be honest it did ok but I was hoping for it to do much like the Camaro and Charger did when it was new.

I could say that for the GXP but it was in numbers so few it made it easy.

But agin I calk it up to more poor marketing my the old GM. They could not afford to pay attention let alone pay for proper marketing at Pontiac.

I do agree I would not hold my breath on these till they are in the show room. If gas spikes ans stays high or any world issue or conflict effects the auto market it could get cut fast. Lets just hope things stay stable long enough to get it here.

The fact is anymore the average sedan buyer is not as large RWD buyer anymore. Times have changes as have markets and buyers wants and needs. Like it or not the Camary has set the pace to the average buyer. This makes cars like the Bu and coming Impala the volume car. Let just be glad with GM working as a true global company now makes it possible to bring a car like this in smaller number to our market.

I think many will find a true global GM will be able to address the needs of the market much better.

Edited by hyperv6
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I'll be glad when and if they deliver what I want - not before.

Exactly, once it is rolling off the assembly line I will believe it. Anything can happen and I am just glad to know this car might just come, and plus I have a fallback option the PPV.

Edited by gm4life
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