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Oracle of Delphi

Holden to export green Commodore to Brazil

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CAR-maker Holden will export its latest model Commodore to Brazil.

Chairman and managing director Mike Devereux said the VE Series II car would be sold as the Chevrolet Omega.

Holden will produce 600 cars as an initial special edition model, but hoped to grow those numbers.

Mr Devereux said the deal came as Holden and the Australian car industry emerged from a tough time prompted by the global economic downturn.

"It's been a pretty turbulent time, make no mistake about it, both for Holden but also for the entire auto industry," he said.

"I think we're emerging from that both stronger and wiser than ever."

The export cars will sell in the luxury and performance segment of the market in Brazil and are expected to be be available from December.

The Chevrolet Omega will also be the only luxury vehicle on sale in Brazil to run on bio-ethanol, a fuel produced by blending high levels of plant-based ethanol with conventional petrol.

News on the export deal came as Holden unveiled the new VE Commodore range, the first Australian-made vehicles to run on E85 bio-ethanol as well as conventional petrol.

E85 is a cleaner burning fuel capable of cutting carbon dioxide emissions by up to 40 per cent.

It is produced from the by-products created during the processing of wheat, sugar and sorghum.

Holden is also investigating the viability of establishing Australia's first ethanol plant that would produce the fuel from household and other waste.

Mr Devereux said the introduction of the E85 flex-fuel technology was part of the company's commitment to leading the push towards alternative fuels.

"We have placed an enormous emphasis on developing technology that can be used in today's vehicles to make driving better for the environment," he said.

Fuel retailer Caltex will start selling the E-Flex high-ethanol blended fuel at 31 outlets in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Canberra from October.

That number will rise to 100 in 2011, including some regional sites.

Holden's energy and environment director Richard Marshall said the company believed bio-ethanol had a big future in Australia.

"It is a cleaner burning, renewable fuel and long term, we think it has the ability to displace up to 30 per cent of Australia's petrol use," he said


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ZL-1    160


Hopefully the disclaimer in that "all units imported were sold; sorry for the inconvenience" at Chevrolet do Brasil website will go away soon.

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Commodore returns to Brazil

Making an export splash: Brazillian racing legend Emerson Fittipaldi test drives the Holden-built sedan named in his honour, the Omega Fittipaldi.

Holden set to export Commodore-based ‘Omega Fittipaldi’ sedan to South America

31 August 2010


GM HOLDEN is back in the Brazilian way with the resumption of Commodore exports to the big South American market.

For now, only 600 VE Series II-based Chevrolet Omega vehicles will head to Brazil, in time for sales to commence in November.

It is a two-way affair because Holden’s engineers at Fishermans Bend have received much-needed flex-fuel expertise and know-how from GM’s Chevrolet affiliate in Brazil, where about 45 per cent of fuel is ethanol.

Only one engine will be offered initially – a variation of the 3.6-litre SIDI (Spark Ignition Direct Injection) V6 – with the capability to run up to 25 per cent ethanol (E25).

Other details will be provided closer to the Omega’s media launch in Brazil in October.

To be called the Omega Fittipaldi after Brazilian motor racing star, national hero and ethanol industry advocate and investor, Emerson Fittipaldi, it picks up from where the earlier VE-based model left off in 2008.

Left: Emerson Fittipaldi at the wheel of the Omega Fittipaldi in Australia.

Holden suspended exports to Brazil just one year after the VE was launched due to the global financial crisis. It had been supplying the country with Commodores since the VT-era model was introduced as the Omega B in 1998, as a replacement for the German Opel-based Omega A that ran from 1992.

GM Brasil’s general director of sales and marketing, Ronaldo Znidarsis, said the Australian import is an important return for the Chevrolet brand.

“The Omega has a great tradition in Brazil dating back to when it was produced by Chevrolet until today,” he said. “It represents luxury, sophistication and performance and is a very important nameplate for the Chevrolet brand in Brazil.”

Holden chairman and managing director Mike Devereux said the latest Omega project was a small step in the recovery process after the challenges of the financial crisis, as well as a big step in the Aussie team’s ethanol education program.

“We’re really pleased to work with Chevrolet Brazil and to rebuild small, targeted export programs which add value to Holden’s domestic business,” he said.

“Holden’s Chevrolet Omega program for Brazil shows that niche export opportunities are beginning to emerge as we recover from the challenges of the global financial crisis.

“Our work with Chevrolet Brazil over the past decade has taught us a great deal about the potential of bio-ethanol and the flex-fuel technology needed to make our locally-produced engines E85-compatible.

“Those lessons have allowed us to develop cars capable of running on varying ethanol blends ranging from E10 all the way to E85 as well as how to work with fuel retailers to make bio-ethanol available commercially.”


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