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About douglask

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  1. GM’s Opel rejects Belgian emissions claim Andy Sharman in London The Zafira, a family car sold by the European arm of General Motors, has come under fresh scrutiny for its emissions performance in the wake of the Volkswagen diesel scandal. GM's Opel division said it had been made the subject of "false accusations" after a report by Belgian broadcaster VRT claimed it had been secretly modifying the emissions performance of its cars using unexplained software updates since the VW scandal emerged in September. Financial Time's full article. Bern University of Applied Sciences and environmental lobby club DUH previously found this model to pass European emissions standards only when the rear wheels are not rotating. When the rear wheels are made to spin along, NOx emissions increase to several times the limit set by European regulations.
  2. Nov 28 (Reuters) - France wants to gradually phase out the use of diesel fuel for private passenger transport and will put in place a system to identify the most polluting vehicles, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Friday. Next year, the government will launch a car identification system that will rank vehicles by the amount of pollution they emit, Valls said in a speech. This will make it possible for local authorities to limit city access for the dirtiest cars. "In France, we have long favoured the diesel engine. This was a mistake, and we will progressively undo that, intelligently and pragmatically," Valls said. About 80 percent of French motorists drive diesel-powered cars. Full article: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/28/france-diesel-idUSL6N0TI42020141128
  3. The clock may be ticking on Holden’s Australian manufacturing operations, but that doesn’t appear to have stalled interest in the brand's best-selling model. This week, the VF Commodore has reached a key milestone, with the 50,000th body rolling off the production line at Elizabeth, South Australia. The landmark moment comes just 10 months on from the VF's launch, and while the company has been mired in controversy since announcing a 2017 end for local production, Holden’s Richard Phillips believes there’s reason to be proud in the achievement. "The VF is quite simply the best quality car Holden has ever built, and to see the 50,000th one roll off the line is a milestone everyone is very proud of," Phillips said. "VF delivers more advanced-technology features than any vehicle in Australian automotive history - making it the most technologically advanced car ever created in Australia." And, while the bulk of orders for the VF range have been from within the Australian market, around 10 percent of production has been devoted to overseas orders: Chevrolet SS in the US, and Chevrolet Lumina in the Middle East. Original article: http://www.themotorreport.com.au/58521/holden-vf-commodore-reaches-50000-milestone
  4. HSV manufactured vehicles are currently sold in the middle east as CSV. It might be difficult to call themselves CSV in Australia as there is (or perhaps was?) Corsa Specialised Vehicles which did specialty Commodores and body kits : http://csvaustralia.com But I'm guessing CSV is no longer operating, so it might be possible.
  5. Striking VF Commodore-based Holden coupe just a design exercise 23 August 2013 HOLDEN designers and Melbourne-based styling house Dsine International have joined forces on a coupe version of the recently released VF Commodore, but the program is unofficial and not destined for production. Quick to dampen the hopes of enthusiasts urging a return of the much-loved Monaro nameplate, Holden has confirmed that the striking two-door model is nothing more than a design exercise. Gallery Click to see larger images Full article: www.goauto.com.au/mellor/mellor.nsf/story2/EF20082E4D5E6939CA257BD00023283A
  6. Ford has designed and is selling an all-new Ranger for markets outside North America, here is a gallery of photos : http://www.ford.com.au/servlet/Satellite?c=DFYPage&cid=1248903608009&pagename=wrapper&site=FOA
  7. Commodore to get aluminium panels and electric steering as Holden greens large car 19 May 2011 By RON HAMMERTON Full article: http://www.goauto.com.au/mellor/mellor.nsf/story2/309C6A1C314B20F1CA25789500195BBC Note: In the US it's called aluminum and in Australia, aluminium. HOLDEN will become the first Australian car manufacturer to employ mass-produced aluminium body panels – most likely the bonnet and boot – to snip the fuel consumption of its next-generation VF Commodore due in 2014. The "light-weighting" exercise, plus a switch to electric-powered steering and new efforts to improve the aerodynamics of the top-selling Australian car, are expected to cut Commodore's thirst by about seven per cent at the cost of at least $160 million. Asked if the use of aluminium would have a cost impact on Commodore, Mr Devereux said: "We have got a pretty good balance of what the car needs to cost, but we also understand that we want people to enjoy the benefits of a large car, but do it more sustainably and have a smaller footprint." Mr Devereux conceded that aluminium was a more difficult material than traditional steel for car panels, but said Holden already had a good handle on the technology. "Aluminium is a pretty hi-tech material to use on body panels," he said. "It does obviously give you significant savings in mass." "It is difficult to stamp – it isn’t easy. So the shapes are difficult, but we have got a really good engineering team that has it under control." At least 30 car companies are already using aluminium panels on cars to cut weight, with savings of up to 50 per cent compared on comparable steel panels, although they are mostly applied to high-end vehicles that can cope with the extra cost. Holden’s American sister companies Cadillac and Chevrolet both already use aluminium panels on some cars, mainly on bonnets on luxury cars such as the Cadillac CTS and Seville and SUV rear hatches on vehicles such as the Chevrolet Tahoe. Australia's CSIRO is a leading researcher into aluminium technologies, but Mr Devereux declined to say if any third parties were involved in the development project. Holden’s VF Commodore is expected to remain rear-wheel drive, built on a modified version of the current VE Zeta platform. While most of the body – including the critical safety cell – will continue to be made of steel, aluminium will be applied to some large surface panels such as the bonnet. Mr Devereux declined to say if the new Commodore would also mark the introduction of electrified powertrains – such as hybrid technology – saying: "We are really trying to say as little as possible for competitive reasons so we don’t tip our hand."
  8. GM’s North American boss Mark Reuss says no to current ute, for now 21 April 2011 By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS (Original goauto.com.au article) THE president of GM North America, former GM Holden boss Mark Reuss, has revealed that while the current VE Ute is unlikely to be exported to the US, soaring oil prices and general downsizing trends could see a future iteration end up in America wearing the Chevrolet bow tie. Mr Reuss said at yesterday’s New York motor show opening that he is watching the evolution of the massive American truck market with interest as consumers increasingly trade the expense and bulk of a full-sized ‘pick-up’ such as the Ford F-Series and Chevrolet Silverado for smaller utilities and vans, such as the Ford Transit Connect. Based on the first-generation (C170) Focus, the latter is a compact front-drive panel van that has found surprising success in North America since it arrived there from Europe in 2009. “The Ford Transit connect is a good example of that – it’s a little bit ahead of its time right now. “But that type of micro segmentation is probably really relevant so I think the industry needs to offer those sorts of (commercial vehicles). “I get the job done and I want to do it at a lot less operating cost and I still get to enjoy my vehicle – those are the sort of things that happen with these types of situations.” However, Mr Reuss did not close the door on US exports of Australia’s top-selling passenger car-based ute. “The question is: are we going to bring the Holden Ute into the United States? I’m not going to talk about future product,” was Mr Reuss’ reply.
  9. Front-wheel drive on agenda for 2015 Holden Commodore as GM mulls alternatives 10 December 2010 By RON HAMMERTON GM HOLDEN chairman and managing director Mike Devereux has confirmed that a decision on the architecture for the next-generation Commodore due by 2015 will be made “fairly soon”. But General Motors insiders have told GoAuto that a rear-drive platform is not a certainty for the all-new version of the top-selling Australian car, with rival engineering groups within GM canvassing more fuel-efficient front-drive/all-wheel-drive alternatives for GM's Commodore-style large cars. This could mean that both of Australia’s indigenous large cars, the Commodore and Ford Falcon, could end up on front-drive platforms in their next generation, with all-wheel-drive alternatives for high-performance models. Ford Australia is expected to make its own decision on the next Falcon by the end of 2011 – a likely similar time frame to GM's Commodore deadline. The American-designed Ford Taurus, with front- and all-wheel-drive powertrains, is said to be one of the vehicles that could underpin the next Falcon. Front-drive possibilities for the Holden Commodore include GM’s so-called Super Epsilon 2 platform for full sized cars that is expected to provide the base for the next Chevrolet Impala, Buick Park Avenue and Cadillac XTS. The Super Epsilon architecture is said to be a wider and longer version of the Opel-engineered Epsilon design used under the Opel Insignia, Buick Regal and Saab 9-3. The Holden assessment process for the next Commodore is in full swing, four years ahead of the likely start of production in 2015 at Holden’s Elizabeth plant in South Australia. Holden is keen to sit the next Commodore on a new generation of its Australian-engineered Zeta global rear-drive platform. The current version underpins not only the VE Commodore but derivatives such as the Chevrolet Camaro and Chevrolet Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle. American car magazine Motor Trend says a new Zeta rear-drive architecture in both short and long-wheelbase variants has been given the tick of approval within GM, but says it will be aimed at up-market vehicles such as a new rear-drive Cadillac and a Chevrolet “four-door Camaro”. GM’s global engineering and manufacturing management teams have all visited Holden’s Port Melbourne headquarters in recent weeks to discuss large car architectures, and presumably hear what Holden engineers, designers and sales and marketing executives have in mind. But some teams visiting the Holden HQ are also said to be lobbying Holden to convince it to adopt their front-drive platforms, extolling the potential fuel savings of the lighter transaxle design over a rear-drive layout. Fuel economy improvement is a key target of GM worldwide, with "light weighting" the buzz term. While Mr Devereux indicated a decision on the next Commodore was due in “two to three months”, saying "we have some architectural decisions we have to make", a Holden insider suggested that did not mean the final call would be made in that time frame. Speaking in Melbourne at an end-of-year briefing for journalists, Mr Devereux said GM was "very bullish about large rear-drive cars that can tow". "We had our global engineering team here a couple of weeks ago and we have had our global manufacturing team here this week, and they can’t believe the incidence of having a hitch – what we call a tow bar – on the back of a sedan is here," he said. "It is a very unusual thing – you don't see it in the United States. We (Americans) have SUVs to do that in the United States." "Commodore is a very unique vehicle in that it can tow – it is a very big package heading to very good fuel economy levels." Mr Devereux said Holden was aiming for 8.4 litres per 100km fuel economy for Commodore – down from the current 9.1L/100km of the 3.0-litre V6 Commodore Omega – the most fuel-efficient current Commodore variant. “We have been talking with people about what we would do with turbo-charging Commodore or smaller engines and what not,” he said. "Through our light-weighting (weight reduction) of this program, we should get down to 8.4 litres per 100km." But Mr Devereux later told GoAuto that the lower fuel economy target could be achieved within two years – in the life of the current Commodore. This indicates that Holden is set to rework the current Commodore in about 2012 or 2013, potentially with lighter construction and a small-capacity turbo V6 tuned for fuel economy using similar technology to its new super-efficient 1.4-litre Cruze four-cylinder engine due in February. Holden already makes turbo-charged V6s for Saab, Opel and Cadillac at its Port Melbourne engine plant, although these 2.8-litre engines are primarily tuned for high performance in cars such as the Saab 9-5 and 9-4X, Opel/Vauxhall Insignia VRX and Cadillac SRX. In the more immediate term, Holden is set to introduce a dedicated LPG version of its Commodore, replacing the current petrol/LPG dual fuel set-up in October 2011, along with an E85 ethanol-capable version of its premium 3.6-litre V6 about the same time. Currently, E85 can only be used in the current 3.0-litre V6 and 6.0-litre V8 engines introduced in the recent VE2 upgrade. Original goauto.com.au artical
  10. Buick Lacrosse Spied In Australia, Commodore To Switch To Epsilon II Platform? http://www.themotorreport.com.au/50888/buick-lacrosse-spied-in-australia-commodore-to-switch-to-epsilon-ii-platform Sep 27, 2010 Unconfirmed reports out of the US this week suggest that Holden is set to move to a front-wheel-drive platform for its next-generation Commodore, with the locally-developed Zeta platform to be dumped in favour of GM’s Epsilon II platform. That doesn’t mean RWD is off the cards altogether, though. According to US magazine Motor Trend, which penned the report, a replacement for the RWD Zeta platform is currently in the works and is forecast to underpin a range of new GM vehicles. A high-end Cadillac luxury sedan, a “cushier” Buick and a Chevrolet-badged sports sedan may ride atop the new Zeta architecture, with the long wheelbase Holden Caprice and “more premium” Commodore models to retain a RWD layout too. The report adds that low-end Commodores models such as the Omega and Berlina may disappear altogether, with an Epsilon-based front-driver taking over as Holden’s budget mid-to-large size sedan. Lending credence to Motor Trend’s report is the appearance of a left-hand drive Buick LaCrosse test mule on Melbourne’s streets. Spotted recently by our spy photographers, the Epsilon II-based Lacrosse was undergoing on-road trials but did not appear to have any obvious test equipment inside its cabin. The US-market LaCrosse shares its platform with the Opel Insignia, which may also arrive on Australian shores in the near future. However, unlike the Insignia, the LaCrosse is powered by the same LF1 3.0 and LLT 3.6 litre V6 engines as the Commodore, giving it a power and parts compatibility advantage over the Opel. A 136kW 2.4 litre Ecotec inline four is also offered in the base-grade LaCrosse CX. The LaCrosse CXS model shown here has the more powerful 210kW 3.6 litre V6 and drives the front wheels, however an AWD drivetrain is available with the 190kW 3.0 litre V6. All LaCrosse models feature a six-speed tiptronic automatic, with no manual transmission offered. In terms of interior size, the LaCrosse bridges the gap between the Commodore and the unpopular Epica. Its interior boasts a more luxurious design than both, though. Would the LaCrosse (or any other Epsilon II-based GM product) make an adequate replacement for lower-grade Commodores? Will fleet and private buyers care (or even notice) the switch to front-wheel drive? If Motor Trend is correct and both premium and sporting Commodore models remain RWD, then it appears Australia’s motoring public may be able to enjoy the best of both worlds. Budget-conscious Holden customers will have a high-grade mid-sizer instead of the universally disliked Epica, and buyers needing more space or wanting a more involving drive will have a range of RWD sedans and wagons at their disposal. If, that is, the rumours turn out to be true. In response to Motor Trend's report, Holden's Senior Product Communications Manager Jonathan Rose told TMR that RWD will remain a part of the Commodore's identity for the forseeable future:
  11. Supercharged V8 for Ford’s upcoming XR8 and FPV range receives Blue Oval backing 18 August 2010 By MARTON PETTENDY www.goauto.com.au The Ford Motor Company has issued an indirect vote of confidence in the Australian-developed supercharged 'Coyote' V8 that is expected to power both Ford's upcoming XR8 models, FPV's upgraded 2010 V8 range and, potentially, next year's born-again GT-HO performance flagship. Ford gave in-principle backing for a supercharged version of its all-new 5.0-litre V8 last week in a press release announcing its new 2012 Mustang Boss 302, which employs a high-performance (but still naturally aspirated) version of the Coyote V8 that increases power from 307kW to 328kW and revs to no less than 7500rpm. The more highly strung Boss V8, which will power next year's 2012 Mustang Boss 302 in North America, is based on the flagship 2011 Mustang GT’s new DOHC 5.0-litre V8, but Ford says it could quite easily have been boosted by a mechanical supercharger. In Australia, that’s exactly what Ford and Prodrive engineers have developed for Ford Austrlia's own 2010 XR8 and FPV's 2010 V8 models. Indeed, the only reason given by FoMoCo for not fitting the Mustang Boss 302 with a supercharger, which it says would have been the easiest way to obtain 'significantly' more power from the standard 307kW Coyote V8, was because the original 1969 Mustang Boss 302 engine was not force-fed. "The Mustang team knew a supercharger would be the simplest way to extract significant power improvements from the new 5.0-liter V8," says Ford, "but they elected not to pursue forced induction for the 2012 Boss to stay true to the original Boss 302 engine." Original full article: http://www.goauto.com.au/mellor/mellor.nsf/story2/C14F4FF75A300A53CA2577830025BD03
  12. V8 Supercars' massive US coup Wednesday 25 November 2009 Author: Press Release | Source: V8 Supercars Australia V8 Supercars Australia, in association with FOX Sports USA, today (Wednesday) announced an exciting new partnership for the next three seasons where SPEED, a member of the FOX Cable Networks with more than 79 million subscribers in North America, will televise the Series to all North American subscribers the weekend after each event. “V8 Supercars is one of the most exciting forms of auto racing in the world today,” FOX Sports Chairman, David Hill, said. “It is fabulous to watch and I’m happy that we’ve been able to develop this new partnership with SPEED.” V8 Supercars Australia Executive Chairman, Tony Cochrane, said the deal was a huge milestone in the ongoing and rapid success of V8 Supercars and its international recognition. “This is a fantastic and exciting relationship for V8 Supercars,” he said. “There is no question that SPEED in North America is the foremost network with regards to motorsport coverage and is the pinnacle platform in our sport; to be held in such regard by this highly professional organisation is a great testament to the quality of our television coverage and our racing. “Each year we build our international presence and our TV reach next season will go to in excess of 135 customer countries in varied forms of live, delayed and packaged highlights. “We are delighted to announce that the coverage will commence with next week's Sydney Telstra 500 being shown on SPEED over the weekend of December 12 and 13 in North America as a taste of what North American fans can view all of next season. “I would like to thank David Hill personally and the entire FOX Sports and SPEED teams for showing their great faith in V8 Supercars. “This is the first of many new international TV announcements that will be rolled out between now and our opening event at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi next year.” Hill was a guest of V8 Supercars Australia at this year's Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 and he declared the sport amongst the best racing he had seen in the world. He believes the category will warm to the hearts of Americans who have made NASCAR the second biggest sport in the US.
  13. Holden Increases Engine Production, Adds Second Shift Nov 16th, 2009 www.themotorreport.com.au/46096/holden-increases-engine-production-doubles-shifts/ THANKS TO an increase in orders for the locally-produced Global V6 engine, Holden is adding a second production shift to its engine facility at Port Melbourne. Overseas orders for the Global V6, and increased demand for the Commodore locally, have seen numbers increased this week to 440 per day. In June, the global financial crisis saw production drop to one shift, with around 240 to 320 engines produced per day. The increase to 440 engines per day is expected to last until the end of the year, with January and February to see 400 engines produced per day. Holden's vehicle assembly at Elizabeth in South Australia will continue to run on a single shift, building 340 cars per day - up from 310 earlier this month.
  14. I wonder if the Hollywood studios will be able to buy them new, or if they will have to resort to importing the Middle East civilian model and dress them up as police cars.
  15. GM looks east to Asia Pacific in new era of opportunity for Holden GM HOLDEN will become part of a powerful new Asian-based global operation under the ‘New GM’ that emerged from General Motors’ Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Friday. In a dramatic swing to the east, where GM operations have been smashing sales records in contrast to the company’s decline in the US and Europe, all of GM’s overseas operations will be managed from Shanghai under a new branch, GM International Operations. It will be run by GM Asia Pacific president Nick Reilly, who has been promoted to GM vice president of international operations under the restructuring announced by GM CEO Fritz Henderson. The decision reflects the rise of China and Korea in the GM orbit and the decline of GM Europe, where Opel, Vauxhall and Saab are all being sold off. In China, GM and its local partners are on target to sell more than 1.6 millions vehicles this year, based on record first half sales of 814,441 units – up 38 per cent. The move places Holden closer to the epicentre of GM’s overseas operations under Mr Reilly, who has overseen GM Holden as part of his Asia Pacific division. Just last weekend, an Australian government delegation led by trade minister Simon Crean and industry minister Kim Carr visited China to push Holden’s case for stronger design and engineering links with GM affiliated car-makers, including Shanghai Auto and Wuling. The decision by GM to put all of its overseas operations under one umbrella has the potential to break down borders between global regions and open up export opportunities for GM operations such as Holden, which a Holden insider said had a reputation within GM for quickly identifying opportunities and acting on them. Full article: http://www.goauto.com.au/mellor/mellor.nsf/story2/... In another story from the same website, Holden engine exports to China to quadruple : http://www.goauto.com.au/mellor/mellor.nsf/story2/...

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