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The Final Bummer?


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The US has been clamoring for this model, send the last few year's worth overseas.

Has it really been, though? Beyond a few enthusiasts, is the really any market here for it? I can understand in Australia where they have had continous production of the ute for over 6 decades. But the El Camino has been gone for 25 years..

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The ute would seem to be very special order in my opinion. I think a 3rd party company could build a special edition one for the market here cheaper than importing it. Ute Kit Car.

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You need to look a little deeper here.

Consider the latest news that the Commodore replacement may not be RWD. Now that is not to say there is not going to be a RWD Holden but it may not be built down under.

This is what we know.

1. Holden last year only sold 30K Commodores. So you can see where the Ute sales were much less than this. Note sales were down 9% last year and may not be any better this year.

2. Word from down under is that the new Commodore in two years will not be RWD and will go FWD. [since Holden is now really Chevy Down Under will it be a version of our Impala?]

3. The Colorado like the S10 here killed sales of a already low volume model. We saw it here with the El Camino.

4 Now this is where I speculate. I do not believe Holden will be with out a RWD car as Chevy already has made it cleat the SS will be around even after the Zeta dies. Now with the SS I see it going to the Alpha based on a LWB 6th Gen Camaro platform. With a plant able to build the Cadillac models and the Camaro adding a volume of SS and Holden models would not be a stretch. GM already exports the drive line and with the current money exchange sending a G8 like volume of cars down under is something that could easily be done.

Now here may be part two of why the Ute Dies. The Alpha was built to be solid but light. They have carved out weight anywhere they could that did not compromise the car but still made a solid platform for the suspension. Now this may be where the Ute may not fit in on this platform.

Now while RWD is more popular down under than about anywhere else it is a dying segment. Ford is looking to leave it unless they import the Mustang. Take a look a the top ten vehicles there and only trucks and the Commodore have RWD.

Add to this Number 2 Holden sold 119K vehicles last year but Number One in the market Toyota sold nearly twice that.

The best selling car has been the Mazda 3 and Hyundai has been one of the fastest growing brands doing so with FWD. Like here the market has changed and so Holden will also have to change. The Cruze last year nearly out sold the Commodore and I would not be surprised if it does not over take it next year.

Now we can justify on the web niche models and al sorts of schemes but the fact is large automakers generally would rather shoot for the higher volume models that return more per dollar invested than many low volume models. Sure Holden might make some money on a low volume Ute but they can make a lot more money just selling a Global Colorado. Why work harder on two cars and make as much or more with just one.

I am disappointed with the loss but business is business and the key it to make money. If GM does not do it Toyota will take the Aussies money just as well.

Note too the low volume Zeta SS for the US market is only here for two reasons. One to fill a need in NASCAR until the new model arrives. Also the SS will open the segment till a higher volume model is built here with a wider price range and more options. The present SS is only holding a place for the new model.

Note the SS has been stated as a 4 door Camaro buy some at GM. Also in several Australian spots they have tied the Commodore with the Chevy SS here. Why would they even bring in that tie for their market? My point is there is a lot more in play here and I feel the low volume Ute is just a victim of changing markets and changing platforms.

Edited by hyperv6
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The US has been clamoring for this model, send the last few year's worth overseas.

Has it really been, though? Beyond a few enthusiasts, is the really any market here for it? I can understand in Australia where they have had continous production of the ute for over 6 decades. But the El Camino has been gone for 25 years..

Do you have any any evidence to prove that? Demise of the Camino coincided with the cheap gas and cheap full size trucks in the late 80s along with GM's notorious habit of letting it rot and with Roger's push for United Association of W Bodies.

With gas being as much as it is, having a truck bed on a car chasis should see more market than your disbelief. If a 4.3 V6 4,700 lb truck can get 24 mpg a 4,000 lb car should at least beat it by 10%, if geared accordingly.

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The US has been clamoring for this model, send the last few year's worth overseas.

Has it really been, though? Beyond a few enthusiasts, is the really any market here for it? I can understand in Australia where they have had continous production of the ute for over 6 decades. But the El Camino has been gone for 25 years..

Do you have any any evidence to prove that? Demise of the Camino coincided with the cheap gas and cheap full size trucks in the late 80s along with GM's notorious habit of letting it rot and with Roger's push for United Association of W Bodies.

Do you have any evidence to prove otherwise? I just don't see much of a market for a 2dr, 2 seat car/truck w/ limited capability compared to a comparably price full size pickup. Just skeptical...I think it would be yet another GM flop like the SSR was.

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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The US has been clamoring for this model, send the last few year's worth overseas.

Has it really been, though? Beyond a few enthusiasts, is the really any market here for it? I can understand in Australia where they have had continous production of the ute for over 6 decades. But the El Camino has been gone for 25 years..

Do you have any any evidence to prove that? Demise of the Camino coincided with the cheap gas and cheap full size trucks in the late 80s along with GM's notorious habit of letting it rot and with Roger's push for United Association of W Bodies.

Do you have any evidence to prove otherwise? I just don't see much of a market for a 2dr, 2 seat car/truck w/ limited capability compared to a comparably price full size pickup. Just skeptical...I think it would be yet another GM flop like the SSR was.

So it is conjectural at its best, hence the rhetorical question.

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The US has been clamoring for this model, send the last few year's worth overseas.

Has it really been, though? Beyond a few enthusiasts, is the really any market here for it? I can understand in Australia where they have had continous production of the ute for over 6 decades. But the El Camino has been gone for 25 years..

Do you have any any evidence to prove that? Demise of the Camino coincided with the cheap gas and cheap full size trucks in the late 80s along with GM's notorious habit of letting it rot and with Roger's push for United Association of W Bodies.

Do you have any evidence to prove otherwise? I just don't see much of a market for a 2dr, 2 seat car/truck w/ limited capability compared to a comparably price full size pickup. Just skeptical...I think it would be yet another GM flop like the SSR was.

So it is conjectural at its best, hence the rhetorical question.

Well, since GM isn't bringing it here, they don't see a business plan for it either. So...

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One would think if they can build the SS with only 3000 being a profitable import, then why not 3000 Ute's.

We don't know that the 3000 SS would be profitable...they may lose money on them. Who knows...

I could be wrong but I thought I read somewhere where GM stated this would be a profitable model at 3000.

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It's because GM knows there aren't 3000 El Cam fans with 45K.

For comparison's sake, an F150 Raptor is 44.5K MSRP.

Yes...if it was a 4cyl, fwd automatic for $25k GM might go for it...but as it is, it's too much of a small niche gamble...

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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If they had brought the UTe back as a chevy and a companion to the SS, they could have used the SSR moniker again.

SSR stood for Super Sport Roadster. Modern day El Camino could be a SST... Super Sport Truck. I would prefer El Camino.

Ain't going to happen. GM hates us. They might make a few thousand and give them to some other 3rd world country... not us. We'll get a Sonic with the rear half of the roof Sawzall'd off.

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Bottom line is they should have done it over a decade ago.

If they had a clue, they'd do it now when it doesn't require any development money and scoop up a few thousand more sales out of Zeta production.

But they don't, and haven't, and even when they did, it ended up that they didn't.

All BS all the time for many years in a row.

So yeah, the final bummer.

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Well, since GM isn't bringing it here, they don't see a business plan for it either. So...

Emotional conjectures in the statements decrying need for this product nearly matches the enthusiasts' comments trying to be refuted.

Also, hypocrisy of GM not having business plans goes contradictory to the support shown for the so-called bold plans of multiple body styles of BMW (even if some of those body styles will sell at measely 20 units a month) and Chevroletdes Benz bringing generic FWD and V classes here.

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