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Could The Next Gen Holden Commodore Be The Last To Be Born In Australia?


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Could The Next Gen Holden Commodore Be The Last To Be Born In Australia?

William Maley - Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com

November 3, 2011

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The next generation Holden Commodore could be the last one worked on in Australia. A report in The Australian Financial Review quotes a union official from The Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers Australia saying: "GM Holden has canvassed not continuing to work on new model Commodores beyond [2014]." This report has caused Holden to go on massive damage control. Holden spokeswoman Emily Perry told Drive that company "has not taken any decisions yet" regarding the future design, engineering and production of the Commodore and the report contained significant "misinformation".

"We are reviewing our options and it's been a breach of trust in the union going and talking about those discussions and spreading misinformation. No decisions have been taken about our future models – the general news isn't as familiar with our products and the union have put out misinformation saying model year 2014 - that is absolutely not correct."

Chris Walton, CEO of The Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers Australia said,

"The Commodore is Australia's most popular car right now because it has been designed by Australian engineers for Australian conditions. We call on the Australian public to show their support for the Australian engineered Holden Commodore and buy one now before they are made in the USA or China or Korea."

The Commodore has been Australia's best selling car for the past fifteen years, but has been in decline for the past decade to people going towards SUVs and smaller vehicles. Also, building a vehicle in Australia is very expensive and the government has been offering incentives to help keep engineering and production there.

"Our plan is to build, design and engineer cars in this country," said Mike Devereux, Holden chairman and managing director on Melbourne radio station 3AW.

Devereux called on the Australian government to reinstate a co-investment scheme similar to the now defunct Green Car Innovation Fund.

"I want the government of this country ... to fully understand that you are competing against Germany, Brazil, Russia, India and China," Devereux said. "There isn't a place on the planet ... where you either don't have co-investment or tariffs. What I suggest is a solid co-investment program. That is the way the game is played. If people find that distasteful, I can't control that; that is the way the global auto industry works."

However, Devereux didn't say anything on design and engineering jobs staying in Australia for long term and where the next generation Commodore would be produced, only saying there were "no guarantees in life or anything".

Source: Drive.com.au

Statement from Holden Below

Holden Statement

2011-11-03

Holden has today responded to speculation regarding future model development in Australia.

The issues being raised in the media relate to confidential discussions with the engineering union, APESMA, as part of the enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) negotiations which are currently under way.

This speculation also relates to decisions for new products - which Australians won’t see until closer to the end of the decade – and these decisions have not been finalised yet.

Holden leadership has been very open with employees, unions, media and government about some of the options and the challenges the company faces in the local market, as well as from global competition for capital investment in this country and in the regulatory environment.

However, Holden does not comment on its EBA negotiations in the media, nor do we speculate about very long-term future models and we certainly don't intend to give our global competitors a free kick.

Holden has very good working relationships with its unions - particularly through some of the most challenging times with shared shift arrangements in our manufacturing workforce and helping to secure Cruze production in Elizabeth at the height of the GFC.

Attributable to Holden Chairman and Managing Director, Mike Devereux

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I see no bad here as GM will still be offering RWD cars and a lot of the Holden work is not shared with NA anyways.

If anything it may mean more RWD cars for NA.

Oh really?

The folks at Holden do RWD right, I have zero faith that any other part of GM could take that over effectively.

RWD development should stay there.

Case in point: The lowly Opel Omega.

GM gave it to Holden and to Cadillac (GMNA).

GMNA created the much maligned, and unreliable Cadillac Catera - and nothing else.

Meanwhile, Holden took that same platform and created an entire line of sedans, coupes, wagons, and Utes. They developed AWD versions, won races, and exported the cars globally.

All on a relative shoestring.

Then they created Zeta, and the Camaro.

I rest my case.

Edited by Camino LS6
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I see no bad here as GM will still be offering RWD cars and a lot of the Holden work is not shared with NA anyways.

If anything it may mean more RWD cars for NA.

Oh really?

The folks at Holden do RWD right, I have zero faith that any other part of GM could take that over effectively.

RWD development should stay there.

Case in point: The lowly Opel Omega.

GM gave it to Holden and to Cadillac (GMNA).

GMNA created the much maligned, and unreliable Cadillac Catera - and nothing else.

Meanwhile, Holden took that same platform and created an entire line of sedans, coupes, wagons, and Utes. They developed AWD versions, won races, and exported the cars globally.

All on a relative shoestring.

Then they created Zeta, and the Camaro.

I rest my case.

The Camaro development was done mostly by GMNA using the Aussie platform.

The Catera's downfall was NOT it's handling (in fact they handle very very well, it was the engine that they were given that was the letdown). Cadillac had no budget and was consigned to taking Germany's leftovers while Australia was able to build there own cars there.

GMNA also came up with this:

2011 Cadillac CTS V Coupe 044

Furthermore, Zeta was developed in Australia when Mark Reuss was in charge of things down there. Notice where he lives these days.

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I see no bad here as GM will still be offering RWD cars and a lot of the Holden work is not shared with NA anyways.

If anything it may mean more RWD cars for NA.

Oh really?

The folks at Holden do RWD right, I have zero faith that any other part of GM could take that over effectively.

RWD development should stay there.

Case in point: The lowly Opel Omega.

GM gave it to Holden and to Cadillac (GMNA).

GMNA created the much maligned, and unreliable Cadillac Catera - and nothing else.

Meanwhile, Holden took that same platform and created an entire line of sedans, coupes, wagons, and Utes. They developed AWD versions, won races, and exported the cars globally.

All on a relative shoestring.

Then they created Zeta, and the Camaro.

I rest my case.

The Camaro development was done mostly by GMNA using the Aussie platform.

The Catera's downfall was NOT it's handling (in fact they handle very very well, it was the engine that they were given that was the letdown). Cadillac had no budget and was consigned to taking Germany's leftovers while Australia was able to build there own cars there.

GMNA also came up with this:

Furthermore, Zeta was developed in Australia when Mark Reuss was in charge of things down there. Notice where he lives these days.

Not true on the Camaro - the on the ground development was done in Australia by Holden.

Holden also got the sow's ear leftover from Opel, but didn't build a turd like the Catera.

Sigma is great and all, but is Cadillac exclusive and barely sells outside of North America.

Ruess is certainly a reason for hope, but yanking RWD development from Holden is entirely a foolish idea. (and I'd bet he agrees).

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  • 4 weeks later...

I see no bad here as GM will still be offering RWD cars and a lot of the Holden work is not shared with NA anyways.

If anything it may mean more RWD cars for NA.

Oh really?

The folks at Holden do RWD right, I have zero faith that any other part of GM could take that over effectively.

RWD development should stay there.

Case in point: The lowly Opel Omega.

GM gave it to Holden and to Cadillac (GMNA).

GMNA created the much maligned, and unreliable Cadillac Catera - and nothing else.

Meanwhile, Holden took that same platform and created an entire line of sedans, coupes, wagons, and Utes. They developed AWD versions, won races, and exported the cars globally.

All on a relative shoestring.

Then they created Zeta, and the Camaro.

I rest my case.

The Camaro development was done mostly by GMNA using the Aussie platform.

The Catera's downfall was NOT it's handling (in fact they handle very very well, it was the engine that they were given that was the letdown). Cadillac had no budget and was consigned to taking Germany's leftovers while Australia was able to build there own cars there.

GMNA also came up with this:

Furthermore, Zeta was developed in Australia when Mark Reuss was in charge of things down there. Notice where he lives these days.

Not true on the Camaro - the on the ground development was done in Australia by Holden.

Holden also got the sow's ear leftover from Opel, but didn't build a turd like the Catera.

Sigma is great and all, but is Cadillac exclusive and barely sells outside of North America.

Ruess is certainly a reason for hope, but yanking RWD development from Holden is entirely a foolish idea. (and I'd bet he agrees).

The Opel Omega is pretty well respected as far as handling goes. The primary issues with the car are the weirdo, underpowered, and troublesome 54 degree 3.0 V6, and some unreliable interior electronics (power windows/locks, windshield wipers). Both of which are relatively easily fixed. In the case of the 3.2 V6, Holden did the smartest thing and pitched it completely in favor of various 3800s and small blocks. Holden could do such a thing because they were actually manufacturing the car.Cadillac did not really have the option of a 3800 because their version was built in the EU and there were no plants making that engine over there. Cadillac had to literally take Opel's leftover scraps. They had no budget for the Catera. It was a total badge job with nothing done to the hardware of the car other than very minor suspension tuning to make it a bit softer for American tastes.

My point is: Don't use the Catera to judge the capabilities of GMNA's RWD abilities.

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I'm not going to argue with you too much because I know you're love of Holden, but that is a bit of revisionist history right there. GMNA did the Sigma platform, the platform that the flagship of all GM rides on, the CTS-V. A platform that is only out handled by a BMW M3 when you put a 78 year old behind the wheel of the Cadillac and a 22 year old behind the wheel of the BMW. I'd say that GMNA got that platform "right".

The revisionist history is this: Every Holden Commodore from 1978 to 2002 was borrowed from an Opel platform and modified for AU use. I am not discounting at all the great job that Holden did with these modification, but at their hearts, they are still Opel chassis that Holden built on. Think of Holden as Opel's performance division if you wish, but they are Opel platforms tuned by Holden. Contrast that to GMNA which did Sigma from the ground up and made it the best performing sedan, coupe, and wagon in the company.

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I'm not going to argue with you too much because I know you're love of Holden, but that is a bit of revisionist history right there. GMNA did the Sigma platform, the platform that the flagship of all GM rides on, the CTS-V. A platform that is only out handled by a BMW M3 when you put a 78 year old behind the wheel of the Cadillac and a 22 year old behind the wheel of the BMW. I'd say that GMNA got that platform "right".

The revisionist history is this: Every Holden Commodore from 1978 to 2002 was borrowed from an Opel platform and modified for AU use. I am not discounting at all the great job that Holden did with these modification, but at their hearts, they are still Opel chassis that Holden built on. Think of Holden as Opel's performance division if you wish, but they are Opel platforms tuned by Holden. Contrast that to GMNA which did Sigma from the ground up and made it the best performing sedan, coupe, and wagon in the company.

Again, Sigma is Caddy-only. And as good as it is, it is only a tiny bright spot in the overall gloom that is RWD from GMNA in the last few decades.

As for Holden, what they did is remarkable. They aren't a "performance division" of Opel, they took the Opel and completely re-engineered it, expanded it's range, re-powered it, re-bodied it, and exported it around the globe.

Then they created Zeta, which is as good as, if not better than, Sigma. All the while, pre andf post Zeta they trounced Sigma's main target: BMW.

GMNA dithers, Holden produces.

That said, the real issue is that the idea of yanking the Commodore (and RWD in general), is simply indefensible.

  • Agree 1
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I woudn't yank anything from Holden. They've proven time and time again that they, better than any other arm of GM, can make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Look at the job they did on the Cruze hatch vs. the sedan.

If anything, I'd give Holden MORE to do,

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  • 1 year later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Well if anyone ever gets around to it the new Holden is due in 2016. I would assume it will also bring a new SS with it. This time it may be built here along with the Camaro? I expect the new Holden will be on the larger Alpha and could and would share the prodution line with The Camaro and Cadillac.

This would open the door to a lower priced RWD sedan and along with a Ute that could be built here. Could this be why we did not get a smaller Colorado?

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Yeah, hyper is theorizing we'll get the next Ute here, and that is maybe why the new Colorado is so big, to make room for it. I am not sure I agree with that, because any Ute will likely be treated as a niche vehicle by GM, and a niche vehicle would not affect the design of a mainstream one.

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I would assume the Colorado is the size it is as that is where the competition is size-wise--the non-US Ranger, the Frontier, the Tacoma.

As for the SS, I assume it will look more like the performance version of the Commodore as far as the front fascia, interior trim, etc....with a smaller top grille than the Calais shown here and big lower grille (like the new NASCAR SS). I saw an image of how the performance version could look yesterday but can't find it now.

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