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By William Maley
It was a sad day when Holden announced that the next Commodore, the ZB, would switch from its rear-drive roots that it had since it was first launched back in the late 70's to front-wheel drive. We have been wondering if this decision was made back in 2013 when the news first came out or earlier. According to a report from Australian outlet Motoring, discussions about possibly using the next-generation Insignia date back to 2010 and the final decision would follow a year later.
“It was really a case of how many architectures could General Motors afford to develop, and how many different people wanted to use Zeta versus something like this (E2)," said Brett Vivian, Holden's director of engineering.
“I think we took some strategic decisions back then to do fewer architectures and put more into them and make them deeper, stronger architectures and spend our resources that way.”
A key reason Holden made the switch to the FWD Commodore comes down to the declining sales of the big RWD sedans.
“I think there is a place for V8s and big cars, but it is increasingly becoming a smaller and smaller slice of the pie and at the end of the day we have to pay our bills and to do that we need volume to do that," Vivian explained.
“It just wasn’t the place to place your bets and invest your money.”
Vivian also dropped an interesting tidbit about the ZB Commodore. There was the possibility of a long-wheelbase version that could serve as the replacement for the Caprice/Statesman. But when the decision came down to end Australian production in late 2013, this idea was scrapped.
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By William Maley
No one was quite sure what would happen to Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) after the end of the RWD Commodore. Rumors abounded from a modified Colorado to the importation of the Camaro. We finally have some concrete answers.
Today in Australia, Holden and HSV made a joint announcement of a new agreement between the two companies. HSV will now use their engineering talents that created some mad Holdens into expanding Holden's range to new levels, along with importing various GM products.
“This marks a whole new era for HSV and Holden and I hope our customers are as excited as we are. HSV is moving beyond simply ‘hotting up’ existing models, and customers will see two product streams from HSV over the next few years. This is ‘Game-On’ in a very big way,” said Tim Jackson, HSV's managing director in a statement.
Colorado SportsCat by HSV
The first product of this new era for HSV is the Colorado SportsCat. Taking a Z71 Colorado, HSV adds a strut brace, enlarged anti-roll bar, taller and stiffer springs, new dampers, and forged alloy 18-inch wheels wrapped in off-road rubber. The exterior is more aggressive with a front skid plate, new grille design, alloy sports bar, and tonneau cover. Stepping things up is the SportsCat+ that includes an AP Racing brake package, an electro-hydraulic anti-roll bar that can disconnect to improve wheel articulation, and a more aggressive exterior.
You may have noticed that we haven't mentioned anything about the powertrain. That's because HSV didn't make any changes to the 2.8L Duramax turbodiesel. It will still produce the same 147kW and 500Nm (around 197 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque).
“The cost/complexity for a relatively minor power increase didn’t make sense. We did a fair bit of consumer research. For our traditional customers, it was power, power, power, but for dual-cabs it was about the overall package," said Jackson to CarAdvice when asked about why there was no power upgrade.
“If this were a Commodore product, I would be concerned about not offering extra power. We thought dynamics was an area we could improve. And I think we’ll have the benchmark in on-road driving [in the light-commercial segment].”
The SportsCar goes on sale in February.
Chevrolet Camaro and Silverado HD to be Imported and Converted to RHD
There have been a number of rumors about the Camaro coming to Australia for the past year so. GM kept their mouth shut whenever asked about it. But the Camaro will be arriving in Australia come next July. HSV will convert the Camaro to right hand drive.
The Australian Camaro will be the 2SS featuring the 6.2L V8 and eight-speed automatic. HSV is hoping offer a six-speed manual version sometime later. Standard equipment includes adaptive dampers, Brembo brakes, 20-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, heated and ventilated seats with power adjustments, and a Bose audio system.
That isn't the only Chevrolet model to coming to Australia. HSV also announced they'll be doing the conversion for the Silverado 2500 and 3500HD. Five variants will be on offer from the 2500HD W/T to the 3500HD LTZ. The only engine on offer will be the 6.6L Duramax turbodiesel V8.
The Silverado HD arrives in the second quarter of 2018, while the Camaro goes on sale in July.
Both the Camaro and Silverado HD will be wearing bowtie emblem, not an HSV one.
Source: Holden, CarAdvice
Press Release is on Page 2
GM HOLDEN & HSV STRIKE NEW PARTNERSHIP: CAMARO, COLORADO SPORTSCAT AND SILVERADO SET TO STORM AUSTRALIA
In a joint announcement, GM Holden and HSV today released details of the new agreement struck between the two iconic Australian companies.
The new partnership marks a pivotal moment in HSV’s 30-year history in Australia and begins an exciting chapter in bringing a whole new breed of vehicles to customers.
The focus of the new agreement is to utilise HSV’s famed design, engineering, manufacturing and marketing skills across a broader range of product, giving customers access to some of the very best vehicles from across the GM empire.
Tim Jackson, HSV Managing Director, said it was fantastic to see the new partnership cemented between the two brands.
“This marks a whole new era for HSV and Holden and I hope our customers are as excited as we are. HSV is moving beyond simply ‘hotting up’ existing models, and customers will see two product streams from HSV over the next few years. This is ‘Game-On’ in a very big way.”
Holden’s Chairman and Managing Director, Mark Bernhard, said the new agreement was a pivotal step for both companies.
“For a number of years, we’ve been talking about bringing customers the best vehicles from around the GM world, and today we’re proud to announce the next step in that strategy. Our partnership with HSV, utilising their world-class engineering and design capabilities, means we’re able to work together to bring the iconic Chevrolet Camaro muscle-car and the best-selling Chevrolet Silverado pick-up, to customers in Australia and New Zealand, not to mention the imminent launch of the exciting Colorado SportsCat. Today is a great day for Holden and HSV, but even more importantly, for our customers”.
The first product stream will be what customers have traditionally expected from HSV, being centred around vehicle enhancement and extending vehicle capability beyond the existing Holden offering.
“It is important that we continue to play a key role in enhancing Holden’s image in the market place, and potential customers can expect to see us going to work on enhanced products which are a natural extension of the Holden range – the SportsCat is a great example of this approach”, said Jackson.
“Some of our traditional customers will expect more power, and if the opportunities present themselves, we will look to develop powertrain enhancements where it makes sense. However, we see an opportunity to appeal to customers by investing in enhanced vehicle specification and capability that really delivers a great driving experience and a competitive advantage in various segments. SportsCat is a great example of how we can deliver improved on-road and off-road driving dynamics, and combine a great new look with improved vehicle capability and versatility. The segment is about much more than drag-strip times,” said Jackson.
The second stream of product to be offered by HSV will be the introduction of world-class vehicles from across the GM global range that would not have otherwise been available through Australia and New Zealand.
The new agreement has specifically been framed to allow the parties to pursue those programs that make the most sense with consideration for brand development, market-based opportunities, customer preferences, and, of course, commercial viability.
The company was, however, quick to emphasise that their overall goal remains unchanged: to create exciting products for niche customers looking for unique vehicles.
HSV also revealed its intention to introduce a freshened logo concurrent with the introduction of its 2018 range.
The new visual identity offers a more contemporary interpretation of the ‘Lion & Helmet’ that has adorned HSV vehicles, and represented the company, since its inception in 1987.
“The current logo has served us well over many years, but as the business transitions to encompass a far broader array of product offerings, this new logo represents a new and expanded brand promise,” said Jackson.
“The Australian market is shifting and, like Holden, we’re shifting with it. This subtle logo change helps signify a new era of vehicle availability from HSV”, he said. “But make no mistake, while it’s a new logo, our customers can expect the same uncompromising attitude to introducing exciting vehicles that Australian’s love to drive”.
In terms of vehicle branding, Jackson also confirmed that the two Chevrolet vehicle lines will be marketed as just that: Chevrolets. “Our engineering involvement starts and stops with the conversion of the vehicles from left to right-hand drive. These are iconic Chevys to the core and we’ll let the famed bow-tie speak for itself”, he said.
In respect of Holden vehicles that have been enhanced for new segments like the 4x4 space, those products will be designated ‘by HSV’ and wear the ‘Lion & Helmet’ in selected environments like on the front grille. “If we then take some vehicles further up the food chain, and both Holden and HSV believe the best branding approach for the vehicle is to receive the full HSV designation, then we will make that call at the time”, said Jackson.
Playing to HSV’s niche design and engineering capabilities, the Colorado SportsCat features a raft of styling and chassis enhancements that will position it as the most advanced sports 4x4 on the market.
To be available in two variants – SportsCat and SportsCat+ – the styling enhancements begin with radically modified exteriors featuring all-new fascias and grilles that, with the addition of LED fog lamps and functional tow hooks, combine to deliver two distinctive and sporty front-end appearances.
The SportsCat+ features a rugged “bonnet bulge” while at the side of the vehicle, prominent wheel arch fender flares, smooth-form on SportsCat and casselated on SportsCat+, frame bold 18” x 10” forged alloys wrapped in sports all-terrain Cooper tyres.
A stylish hard tonneau, with load-rail provision and quick-release mechanism, combined with a unique sports-bar on SportsCat and sail plane on SportsCat+, enhance the vehicles’ sporty profile, while at the rear, a prominent “Colorado” tailgate applique’ makes a bold statement.
The styling enhancements don’t end with the exteriors of the vehicles. The interior also comes in for a substantial make-over to deliver premium levels of comfort and style.
SV Sports seats, the front heated, featuring uniquely designed seat foams for optimum support, are wrapped in Jasmine leather and Windsor suede, with this trim combination also adorning the instrument panel. Twin-needle red stitching provides an added highlight, also featuring on the leather-wrapped steering wheel, door trims and centre console cover. Branded floor mats complete the interior style and comfort make-over.
From a chassis perspective, the modifications are marked and deliver the SportsCat’s unique driving dynamics.
Both SportsCat models feature HSV Sports Suspension with the front spring rate stiffened to 110 Newtons/mm. Its MTV dampers have been tuned around the revised spring rate, with both modifications contributing to a more performance-based handling characteristic.
In addition to the increased spring rate, front ride height has been lifted by 25mm. This modification further improves the approach angle of the vehicle, increases ground clearance to the body and reduces the vehicle’s overall rake, delivering a more natural on-road stance.
The chassis enhancements continue with the adoption of a Rear De-Coupling Anti-Roll Bar on the SportsCat+. Developed specifically for the vehicle by HSV’s chassis engineers, the de-coupling rear sway bar improves the higher speed road driving performance of the vehicle by controlling rear roll, and thereby improving overall vehicle balance and turn-in transient response. The de-coupling feature ensures the vehicle’s suspension settings can be optimised for off-road performance.
SupaShock suspension, as introduced to the Australian market on HSV’s iconic GTSR W1, will also be available as a factory-fitted option on the SportsCat+, taking the vehicle’s suspension capabilities to another level yet again.
SportsCat+ also adopts a unique braking package, further enhancing its sporting credentials. Front 4-piston forged AP Racing brake callipers are complemented by 362mm x 32mm diameter rotors and a large (25.4mm) diameter brake master cylinder, to deliver improved pedal feel through a reduction in pedal travel and softness.
The functionality of the vehicle’s Traction Control System has also been adjusted to allow for less aggressive interventions, particularly on corner exit. These adjustments also help deliver a more performance-based vehicle response.
SportsCat’s stylish 18” forged alloys are wrapped in Cooper (Zeon LTZ Pro) Sports All-Terrain tyres. These Cooper tyres are a hybrid between a sports-truck tyre and an all-terrain tyre and, in addition to their rugged off-road properties, were specially selected by HSV’s chassis engineers for their outstanding on-road performance characteristics, most notably on tarmac and dirt roads. The overall size of the tyres (285/60 R18), and their rolling radius, also delivers a further 20mm increase in vehicle ride height for a total (front) ride height increase of 45mm.
In commenting on the engineering enhancements, HSV’s Engineering Director, Joel Stoddart, said “We set ourselves some pretty aggressive targets heading into the SportsCat program. We wanted to set the bench-mark for on-road performance without compromising the vehicle’s off-road capabilities. In fact, we’ve managed to improve the vehicle’s off-road performance, so I’m confident the team has delivered on both counts”.
In addition to the styling and engineering enhancements developed by HSV on the new SportsCat range, the vehicle also carries over a raft of core vehicle features that help complete the premium offering.
From a performance perspective, both SportsCat models are powered by a 2.8 litre double overhead cam Duramax Turbo Diesel engine that offers 147kW of power and up to 500Nm of torque when specified with the optional 6-speed automatic transmission with Active Select. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard fare.
Braked towing capacity of 3,500kg and a maximum payload of approximately 1 tonne deliver impressive workhorse capabilities.
The stylish HSV modifications to the interior also complement a breadth of already impressive driver and cabin comforts and technologies including an 8” colour touch screen, embedded Satellite Navigation, a premium 7-speaker audio, a rear-view camera and seven airbags.
Said HSV’s Managing Director, Tim Jackson, “Most 4x4’s Pick-Ups are inherently capable off-road – essentially, it’s a category expectation, and we’ll certainly be amongst the best-in-class in this regard, especially with our added ride height and Cooper tyre package. But what we also wanted to do with the SportsCat program was dial up the vehicle’s on-road characteristics, given that’s where most people tend to spend the bulk of their time driving their vehicle. With our unique suspension packages and AP Racing brakes combined with the interior and exterior comfort and styling enhancements we’ve made, we’re confident we’ve developed Australia’s most stylish and advanced sports 4x4”.
The SportsCat range is due to start production at HSV’s new facility in Clayton, Victoria, late January, with Recommended Retail Pricing to be confirmed closer to model availability.
For over 100 years, Chevrolet has forged an enviable reputation for building strong and dependable “full-size” pick-up trucks, and HSV has committed to bringing their pinnacle model – the Silverado – to Australia and New Zealand.
Power, payload and towing capability are what Silverado is famous for and all these attributes will be reflected in the five-model 4x4 Crew Cab line-up that HSV will offer:
2500HD WT 2500HD LTZ 2500HD LTZ “Midnight” Edition 2500HD LTZ “Custom Sport” Edition 3500HD LTZ All five vehicles share the same impressive heavy-duty equipment including:
Duramax 6.6L Turbo Diesel V8 engine ~332kW of power ~1,234 Nm of torque Allison 1000 6-speed automatic transmission Towing capacity of ~3.5 – ~6.1 tonne (model dependent) Payload capacity of ~1,140kg – ~1,848kg (model dependent) 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes Automatic locking rear differential Said HSV’s Managing Director, Tim Jackson, “The availability of the Chevrolet Silverado range opens up some wonderful new opportunities for our business in a market segment whose potential is relatively un-tapped, and we believe has high growth potential”.
“Whether it be the farming or mining sectors, those who need to pull a large caravan or horse float or simply those who want awesome towing and load carrying capability, Silverado is the pinnacle of the GM range”, he said.
Conversion of the Silverado range will commence at HSV’s new production facility in April 2018. The 3500HD LTZ model will be available late in Q2, 2018.
Recommended Retail Pricing is still to be confirmed.
The Chevrolet Camaro defines performance and this legendary nameplate, in the form of the Camaro 2SS Coupe, will also be imported and converted to right-hand-drive by HSV, and available in 2018.
The driving force behind the Camaro 2SS is Chevrolet’s 6.2L Generation V LT1 Direct Injection V8 engine mated to an 8-speed, paddle-shift automatic transmission and generating up to 340kW of power and 615Nm of torque.
The vehicle’s Performance suspension provides a dynamic connection to the road with stopping power delivered by 4-piston Brembo front & rear performance brakes with fixed callipers.
High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps and LED Daytime Running Lamps deliver signature front-end appeal while stylish 20”, 5-split-spoke alloys (8.5” front & 9.5” rear) are wrapped in 245/40ZR20 (front) and 275/35ZR20 (rear) Goodyear Eagle tyres. A rear stanchion spoiler and dual-outlet exhaust with bright tips add aggression at the tail.
The interior of the Camaro 2SS delivers the perfect marriage of form and function. It starts with power-adjustable heated and ventilated leather-trimmed front sports bucket seats for optimum comfort and support, complemented by a leather-wrapped, flat-bottom sports-profile steering wheel for ultimate grip.
Dual zone automatic climate control, a 9-speaker Bose premium audio and 24 colour interior spectrum lighting enhance interior ambience while the Head-up Display, Drive Mode Selector and Enhanced Driver Information Centre blend exhilaration with innovation.
Conversion of the Camaro 2SS is due to commence at HSV in July 2018 with Recommended Retail Pricing still to be confirmed.
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By William Maley
The Zeta RWD platform had so much promise when it launched with 2006 Holden Commodore. Plans were drawn up for a number of models that would have included a number of the GM brands, including Cadillac. But the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent bankruptcy of GM saw many of those plans go into the trashbin and would ultimately mark the beginning of the end of Holden's local production. We have learned about one of those Zeta projects.
Motoring reports that Holden was working on a Zeta-based SUV that would compete against the Ford Territory, a model that used the underpinnings of the Falcon.
“There was an SUV and that was probably one of the defining moments around global Zeta and it was probably one of the defining moments around Holden’s success in Australia,” said Mark Sheridan, former head of Holden's advanced vehicle design chief and one the key people behind the development of Zeta.
“Ford made a really good decision around Territory … We looked at cars exactly like that way back on Zeta and the GM leadership at the time said no. They said ‘we can do these better and more efficiently because they are the types of cars we do, off North American architectures rather than the Zeta architecture.”
Sadly, General Motors would not build that SUV for Holden. Insiders at Holden believed that if the project was allowed to continue, it might have helped keep local manufacturing.
“That (Zeta SUV) would have given us a portfolio that would have given us a much bigger stretch across the marketplace and that would have given people a choice,” Sheridan said.
“If that had been allied with the Zeta architecture or something that we manufactured in Adelaide, then Adelaide wouldn’t have had the volume issues and the productivity issues and the cost issues it had.”
This isn't the first story of a Holden project being canned. As we reported last year, there was a secret project for an electric supercar that could rival the Bugatti Veyron in terms of performance.
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By William Maley
At 10:45 AM this morning at Holden's Elizabeth plant in South Australia, the final Australian-built vehicle rolled down the assembly line - a VF II SS V Redline complete with six-speed manual. The vehicle marked the end of 69 years of Holden production in Australia with 7,687,675 vehicles built. It also marks the end of Australian car production with Ford ending theirs last year and Toyota wrapping up a few weeks ago.
Holden held a private ceremony at the plant for the 945 workers where they saw the final Commodore and three other models; Caprice V, SS Ute, and a Commodore Calais V V6 (the only model fitted with an Australian-built engine). The final four will become part of Holden's heritage collection and be shown at a heritage display on the Elizabeth site.
“The passion and dedication of the team here is second to none, it has been an honour to work alongside them. In the final years of production, we have been building categorically the best-quality cars to ever roll out of this plant, and our last car was our best. Together we achieved a string of productivity and quality awards in recent times, doing so during the closure period is testament to the skills, professionalism and dedication of the team,” said Holden’s Executive Director of Manufacturing, Richard Phillips in a statement.
“Right after supporting our people comes ensuring we set Holden up for success for many years to come. The best way we can honour our people and our heritage is by building a successful future and that’s exactly what we’ll be focused on when Monday rolls around. Today, however, is about paying tribute to the generations of men and women across Holden and our supply network who have given so much to our company. Holden is the icon it is today only because of these passionate people. On behalf of everyone at Holden, I thank you for your service from the bottom of my heart,” said Holden Chairman and Managing Director, Mark Bernhard.
Holden will still maintain a major presence in the country with a design and engineering center in Port Melbourne, the Lang Lang Proving Grounds in Victoria, and a sales office. Holden is also planning a major product offensive with 24 new products to be launched by 2020, including a rumored Camaro. But there are concerns about the long-term ramifications of the loss of Australian manufacturing, along with whether or not Holden can make any inroads with this ambitious product plan.
“It’s probably going to be an emotional day. It’s not the easiest thing, but life will go on,” said Kane Butterfield, a paint shop worker at the plant to Drive.com.au.
“It’s pretty tragic really that we’ve let go one of the best cars around the world. It’s an absolute tragedy.”
Author's Note: Wheels Magazine has a live blog chronicling the final day of production at Elizabeth which you can check out here. Also, you can see our review of the 2015 Chevrolet SS here.
Source: CarAdvice, Drive.com.au, Motoring, News.com.au, Wheels Magazine, Holden
Press Release is on Page 2
HOLDEN HONOURS ITS MANUFACTURING LEGACY; COMPLETES TRANSFORMATION TO SALES, ENGINEERING AND DESIGN BUSINESS
Holden honours 69 years of local manufacturing, culminating in more than 7.6 million vehicles built for Australia and the world Company pays tribute to the generations of people within Holden and the supply chain who helped build a legend Holden to honour that legacy by building a bright future in Australia; company retains 1000 direct staff plus 6000 people across 200-strong national dealer network Lion brand to retain world-class Design and Engineering teams working on local and global programs; retention of Lang Lang Vehicle Proving Ground ensures Holdens will always drive and feel like Holdens should New vehicle onslaught continues with ongoing commitment to launch 24 new products by 2020, completely transforming Holden showrooms Holden’s world-class transition program has resulted in 85% of Holden workers to date successfully transitioning, setting a new benchmark in the industry GM Holden today celebrated nearly 70 years of proud manufacturing heritage with the final Holden Commodore rolling off the Elizabeth line today at 10.45am (Adelaide time). A private ceremony for employees was held today to mark Holden’s proud manufacturing history and pay tribute to the generations of hard-working men and women who literally built the Holden legend.
From the very first Holden 48-215 to roll off the Fishermans Bend production line on 29 November 1948, to the final VFII Commodore Redline to come out of the Elizabeth factory on 20 October 2017, Holden has been a part of the fabric of Australia and that’s an honoured position that the Lion brand is committed to keeping for many years to come.
Holden Chairman and Managing Director, Mark Bernhard, said: “Treating our people with dignity and respect was always our number one priority during this transition and we’re all proud we were able to achieve that, we see it as recognition of their dedicated service over the years. With 85 per cent of all workers to date successfully transitioning, we’ve worked closely with our people to support them.
“Holden also appreciates the partnership and assistance of the state and federal governments, along with the unions, over many years.
“Right after supporting our people comes ensuring we set Holden up for success for many years to come. The best way we can honour our people and our heritage is by building a successful future and that’s exactly what we’ll be focused on when Monday rolls around.
“Today, however, is about paying tribute to the generations of men and women across Holden and our supply network who have given so much to our company. Holden is the icon it is today only because of these passionate people. On behalf of everyone at Holden, I thank you for your service from the bottom of my heart,” said Mr Bernhard.
Holden’s award-winning employee transition centre will remain open on the Elizabeth site for at least two years’ post factory-closure to ensure all Holden and supply chain employees have the best possible chance to successfully transition.
Holden’s Executive Director of Manufacturing, Richard Phillips, paid tribute to the people and achievements of the Elizabeth plant: “The passion and dedication of the team here is second to none, it has been an honour to work alongside them. In the final years of production, we have been building categorically the best-quality cars to ever roll out of this plant, and our last car was our best. Together we achieved a string of productivity and quality awards in recent times, doing so during the closure period is testament to the skills, professionalism and dedication of the team.”
Looking to the future, Holden will remain a diversified business and a powerhouse of the Australian automotive industry for many years to come. Employing approximately 1000 direct employees in Melbourne and across national zone offices, Holden will also retain its highly-skilled Design and Engineering teams, working on local and global vehicle and transportation programs. This includes retention of Holden’s world-renowned Design Studios and the famous Lang Lang vehicle Proving Ground near Melbourne in Victoria.
This is in addition to the nearly 6000 people employed across Holden’s 200-strong national dealer network, ensuring Holden’s customers are continued to be looked after and all warranty and spare parts needs continue to be met as they always have been.
Over the past two years, Holden has outlined its future path and strategic priorities:
Beyond October 20, Holden will continue to employ approximately 1000 direct staff and an additional nearly 6000 people across its 200-strong national dealer network. Holden will launch 24 major vehicles and 36 new drivetrain combinations by 2020. Holden will have a world-class and diverse SUV line-up, including the all-new Equinox hitting showrooms in November 2017 and the all-new Acadia SUV in 2018. The esteemed Commodore nameplate will live on in 2018. Holden will introduce a true V8, rear-drive sports car to Australia. We are building Holden’s biggest and best vehicle range ever: a true product onslaught. Holden is taking a leadership position with next-generation mobility technology through Maven and OnStar, and an ability to capitalise on GM’s leadership in electric vehicles and autonomous driving technology. Holden will retain a Design and Engineering workforce of approximately 350 people beyond 2017, working on local and global programs. Holden vehicles will continue to be tuned and tested for Australian conditions and customers with the retention of the famous Lang Lang Proving Ground in Victoria; Holden’s world-class Global Design Centre continues to contribute to, design and execute local and global product programs, such as the Buick Avenir and Opel GT. Home Ground Advantage, Holden’s $5 million / 10-year commitment to grass roots sporting clubs has been a huge success with more than 3000 entries to date.
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By William Maley
Those who crave a V8 model from Holden might not need to wait too long after the current Commodore finishes its run. Motoring has learned from sources that GM has given the go-ahead on sending the next-generation Corvette and current Camaro to Australia.
The Corvette, which the report states will be the mid-engine model - will come as a right-hand drive model from the factory. The Camaro is a bit of a different story, however.
According to Motoring, the Camaro will be converted to right-hand drive via conversion process done by Walkinshaw Group - the people behind Holden Special Vehicles (HSV). Walkinshaw Group boss Ryan Walkinshaw and HSV's Tim Jackson were lobbying GM to back this project for a bit and it seems their efforts may have paid off. Mark Reuss, Executive Vice President of GM's global development and former head of Holden is said to be a fan of this project.
Why did Walkinshaw want GM's backing? This will give them discount pricing on Camaros they bring in. The report says Walkinshaw is aiming for sub-$90,000 AUD (about $71,000) pricetag for a high-spec SS version.
Holden and HSV Dealers have been allegedly told about this plan.
HSV declined to comment on this report, but sources say an announcement is imminent.
This could be only for the current generation Camaro. As reported back in March, GM is working on a right-drive version of the next-generation Camaro - due in 2021.
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