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Found 92 results

  1. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 26, 2013 Some big news coming out of Australia this week. Holden's Managing Director, Mike Devereux announced that he would be stepping down and moving to another position at General Motors at the end of the year. Devereux's new title will be the vice president of International Operations at GM. He will be overseeing GM's operations in a 100 countries, including Australia. “While taking on this expanded role, Mr Devereux will continue to manage the GM Holden team and GM's operations in Australia and New Zealand until the end of the year, at which time a replacement will be named. We will continue our ongoing discussions with the government,” Holden said in a statement. Devereux's announcement comes at a difficult time for Holden as they currently in negotiations with the Australian government for financial assistance. Holden has said previously that it is committed to to manufacturing cars in Australia until at least 2022, but if get assistance from the Australian government. Source: Drive.com.au William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  2. William Maley

    Rumorpile: Holden Ute Gets A Pink Slip

    William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 30, 2013 2016 could mark the end of era. After 65 years serving the Australian marketplace, the Holden Ute could say good-bye. News.com.au has learned that Holden could end production of the Ute after the current Commodore is replaced in 2016. The Ute has been a staple of Australian automotive marketplace since the first model was introduced back in 1951. But in the past few years, sales have precipitously dropped. This is due to an influx of midsize trucks being built and imported from Thailand. Thailand has much lower labor costs when compared to Australian labor costs. Also, Australia has a free-trade agreement with Thailand which means anything imported from the country has no tariff. Sales of midsize trucks have been booming. Models like the Holden Colorado, Toyota HiLux, Ford Ranger, and Nissan Navera dominate Australia’s best-selling vehicle list. Meanwhile, the Holden Ute and Ford's Falcon Ute are way down on the list. The news gets grimmer when you compare sales of the Ute to the Commodore. Sales of the Commodore and its variants are up 15 percent year-to-date, while sales of the Ute have fallen 31 percent in the same timeframe. A lot of the sales increase for midsize trucks can be directed at a boom in mining in the country, and by small businesses and buyers who need something a bit more practical. "We've seen orders more than triple in the past five years. A lot of companies are now using crew cab utes to replace station wagons. But they're also popular with private buyers because they're part 4WD, part family car and part ute. They're more of a lifestyle vehicles these days," said Abe Tomas, managing director of Fleet and Financial Products at Macmillan Shakespeare. There is also talk about what the future holds for Holden itself. The Australian Government is currently deciding whether inject more money into Holden so they can keep building vehicles in Australia. If the government decides not to, then GM might layoff about 1,700 blue collar workers and close up their Australian operations. If the government does decide to inject more money into Holden, then the brand will adopt two new "global" cars, one which is speculated to be a front-wheel drive platform that will take the place of the Commodore. Source: News.com.au William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  3. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 30, 2013 2016 could mark the end of era. After 65 years serving the Australian marketplace, the Holden Ute could say good-bye. News.com.au has learned that Holden could end production of the Ute after the current Commodore is replaced in 2016. The Ute has been a staple of Australian automotive marketplace since the first model was introduced back in 1951. But in the past few years, sales have precipitously dropped. This is due to an influx of midsize trucks being built and imported from Thailand. Thailand has much lower labor costs when compared to Australian labor costs. Also, Australia has a free-trade agreement with Thailand which means anything imported from the country has no tariff. Sales of midsize trucks have been booming. Models like the Holden Colorado, Toyota HiLux, Ford Ranger, and Nissan Navera dominate Australia’s best-selling vehicle list. Meanwhile, the Holden Ute and Ford's Falcon Ute are way down on the list. The news gets grimmer when you compare sales of the Ute to the Commodore. Sales of the Commodore and its variants are up 15 percent year-to-date, while sales of the Ute have fallen 31 percent in the same timeframe. A lot of the sales increase for midsize trucks can be directed at a boom in mining in the country, and by small businesses and buyers who need something a bit more practical. "We've seen orders more than triple in the past five years. A lot of companies are now using crew cab utes to replace station wagons. But they're also popular with private buyers because they're part 4WD, part family car and part ute. They're more of a lifestyle vehicles these days," said Abe Tomas, managing director of Fleet and Financial Products at Macmillan Shakespeare. There is also talk about what the future holds for Holden itself. The Australian Government is currently deciding whether inject more money into Holden so they can keep building vehicles in Australia. If the government decides not to, then GM might layoff about 1,700 blue collar workers and close up their Australian operations. If the government does decide to inject more money into Holden, then the brand will adopt two new "global" cars, one which is speculated to be a front-wheel drive platform that will take the place of the Commodore. Source: News.com.au William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  4. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com December 10, 2013 The rumors were flying around only a week ago, but it has been confirmed now. This afternoon in Australia, Holden announced that after sixty-five years of production, the automaker will stop producing vehicles and "transition to a national sales company in Australia and New Zealand" by 2017. The move will affect 2,900 workers at the Elizabeth manufacturing plant and Victoria. It will also affect a number of suppliers in Australia. “We are completely dedicated to strengthening our global operations while meeting the needs of our customers. The decision to end manufacturing in Australia reflects the perfect storm of negative influences the automotive industry faces in the country, including the sustained strength of the Australian dollar, high cost of production, small domestic market and arguably the most competitive and fragmented auto market in the world,” said GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson in a statement. “GM remains committed to the automotive industry in Australia and New Zealand. We recognize the need for change and understand the government’s point of view. Moving forward, our business model will change significantly however, GM Holden will remain an integral part of its communities and an important employer both directly and through our dealers,” said Holden Chairman and Managing Director Mike Devereux. Holden says they hope to have "significant presence in Australia beyond 2017" with a national sales company, parts distribution, and a global design studio. Acting Prime Minister Warren Truss told members of the Australian Parliament during question period that he had spoken with Devereux and found out the decision had been made in Detroit. "Now this government had indicated right from the very beginning that we wanted Holden to remain manufacturing cars in Australia. "We've wanted, we want to have a strong and active motor vehicle manufacturing industry in Australia," said Truss. Workers were told the news at the end of their shift. Many were angry and honked and screamed as they left for the day. "Ive been waiting for a package anyway," said Rob Williams, a worker to Drive.com.au. Holden follows in the footsteps of Ford who announced earlier in the year that would be shutting down their operations in Australia by 2016. Source: Drive.com.au, News.com.au, General Motors William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 GM to Transition to a National Sales Company in Australia and New Zealand Company to cease manufacturing in Australia by 2017 DETROIT – As part of its ongoing actions to decisively address the performance of its global operations, General Motors today announced it would transition to a national sales company in Australia and New Zealand. The company also said it would discontinue vehicle and engine manufacturing and significantly reduce its engineering operations in Australia by the end of 2017. “We are completely dedicated to strengthening our global operations while meeting the needs of our customers,” said GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson. “The decision to end manufacturing in Australia reflects the perfect storm of negative influences the automotive industry faces in the country, including the sustained strength of the Australian dollar, high cost of production, small domestic market and arguably the most competitive and fragmented auto market in the world.” As a result of the company’s actions, approximately 2,900 positions will be impacted over the next four years. This will comprise 1,600 from the Elizabeth vehicle manufacturing plant and approximately 1,300 from Holden’s Victorian workforce. Holden will continue to have a significant presence in Australia beyond 2017, comprising a national sales company, a national parts distribution centre and a global design studio. GM Holden Chairman and Managing Director Mike Devereux said an important priority over the next four years would be to ensure the best possible transition for workers in South Australia and Victoria. “This has been a difficult decision given Holden’s long and proud history of building vehicles in Australia,” said Devereux. “We are dedicated to working with our teams, unions and the local communities, along with the federal and state governments, to support our people.” The sale and service of Holden vehicles will be unaffected by this announcement and will continue through the extensive network of Holden dealers across Australia and New Zealand. Warranty terms and spare parts availability will remain unchanged. “GM remains committed to the automotive industry in Australia and New Zealand. We recognize the need for change and understand the government’s point of view. Moving forward, our business model will change significantly however, GM Holden will remain an integral part of its communities and an important employer both directly and through our dealers,” Devereux said. Since 2001, the Australian dollar has risen from US$0.50 to as high as US$1.10 and from as low as 47 to as high as 79 on the Trade Weighted Index. The Australian automotive industry is heavily trade exposed. The appreciation of the currency alone means that at the Australian dollar’s peak, making things in Australia was 65 percent more expensive compared to just a decade earlier. With the decision to discontinue vehicle and engine manufacturing in Australia by the end of 2017, GM expects to record pre-tax charges of $400 million to $600 million in the fourth quarter of 2013. The charges would consist of approximately $300 million to $500 million for non-cash asset impairment charges including property, plant and equipment and approximately $100 million for cash payment of exit-related costs including certain employee severance related costs. Additional charges are expected to be incurred through 2017 for incremental future cash payments of employee severance once negotiations of the amount are completed with the employees’ union. The asset impairment charges will be considered special for EBIT-adjusted reporting purposes. View full article
  5. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com December 10, 2013 The rumors were flying around only a week ago, but it has been confirmed now. This afternoon in Australia, Holden announced that after sixty-five years of production, the automaker will stop producing vehicles and "transition to a national sales company in Australia and New Zealand" by 2017. The move will affect 2,900 workers at the Elizabeth manufacturing plant and Victoria. It will also affect a number of suppliers in Australia. “We are completely dedicated to strengthening our global operations while meeting the needs of our customers. The decision to end manufacturing in Australia reflects the perfect storm of negative influences the automotive industry faces in the country, including the sustained strength of the Australian dollar, high cost of production, small domestic market and arguably the most competitive and fragmented auto market in the world,” said GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson in a statement. “GM remains committed to the automotive industry in Australia and New Zealand. We recognize the need for change and understand the government’s point of view. Moving forward, our business model will change significantly however, GM Holden will remain an integral part of its communities and an important employer both directly and through our dealers,” said Holden Chairman and Managing Director Mike Devereux. Holden says they hope to have "significant presence in Australia beyond 2017" with a national sales company, parts distribution, and a global design studio. Acting Prime Minister Warren Truss told members of the Australian Parliament during question period that he had spoken with Devereux and found out the decision had been made in Detroit. "Now this government had indicated right from the very beginning that we wanted Holden to remain manufacturing cars in Australia. "We've wanted, we want to have a strong and active motor vehicle manufacturing industry in Australia," said Truss. Workers were told the news at the end of their shift. Many were angry and honked and screamed as they left for the day. "Ive been waiting for a package anyway," said Rob Williams, a worker to Drive.com.au. Holden follows in the footsteps of Ford who announced earlier in the year that would be shutting down their operations in Australia by 2016. Source: Drive.com.au, News.com.au, General Motors William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 GM to Transition to a National Sales Company in Australia and New Zealand Company to cease manufacturing in Australia by 2017 DETROIT – As part of its ongoing actions to decisively address the performance of its global operations, General Motors today announced it would transition to a national sales company in Australia and New Zealand. The company also said it would discontinue vehicle and engine manufacturing and significantly reduce its engineering operations in Australia by the end of 2017. “We are completely dedicated to strengthening our global operations while meeting the needs of our customers,” said GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson. “The decision to end manufacturing in Australia reflects the perfect storm of negative influences the automotive industry faces in the country, including the sustained strength of the Australian dollar, high cost of production, small domestic market and arguably the most competitive and fragmented auto market in the world.” As a result of the company’s actions, approximately 2,900 positions will be impacted over the next four years. This will comprise 1,600 from the Elizabeth vehicle manufacturing plant and approximately 1,300 from Holden’s Victorian workforce. Holden will continue to have a significant presence in Australia beyond 2017, comprising a national sales company, a national parts distribution centre and a global design studio. GM Holden Chairman and Managing Director Mike Devereux said an important priority over the next four years would be to ensure the best possible transition for workers in South Australia and Victoria. “This has been a difficult decision given Holden’s long and proud history of building vehicles in Australia,” said Devereux. “We are dedicated to working with our teams, unions and the local communities, along with the federal and state governments, to support our people.” The sale and service of Holden vehicles will be unaffected by this announcement and will continue through the extensive network of Holden dealers across Australia and New Zealand. Warranty terms and spare parts availability will remain unchanged. “GM remains committed to the automotive industry in Australia and New Zealand. We recognize the need for change and understand the government’s point of view. Moving forward, our business model will change significantly however, GM Holden will remain an integral part of its communities and an important employer both directly and through our dealers,” Devereux said. Since 2001, the Australian dollar has risen from US$0.50 to as high as US$1.10 and from as low as 47 to as high as 79 on the Trade Weighted Index. The Australian automotive industry is heavily trade exposed. The appreciation of the currency alone means that at the Australian dollar’s peak, making things in Australia was 65 percent more expensive compared to just a decade earlier. With the decision to discontinue vehicle and engine manufacturing in Australia by the end of 2017, GM expects to record pre-tax charges of $400 million to $600 million in the fourth quarter of 2013. The charges would consist of approximately $300 million to $500 million for non-cash asset impairment charges including property, plant and equipment and approximately $100 million for cash payment of exit-related costs including certain employee severance related costs. Additional charges are expected to be incurred through 2017 for incremental future cash payments of employee severance once negotiations of the amount are completed with the employees’ union. The asset impairment charges will be considered special for EBIT-adjusted reporting purposes.
  6. William Maley

    Holden Unveils The Next Commodore

    By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com February 9, 2013 Holden has pulled back the curtain for the new VF Commodore this morning in Australia. The VF Commodore according to Holden "the most technologically-advanced car ever created in Australia". This is an important car for Holden since sales of the Commodore and other big sedans in Australia have been on the decline. The VF Commodore retires the “geometrical” design theme used on the VE Commodore and uses the “scultptural” design theme. Up front, the VF Commodore has a higher, wider front grille, subtle central power bulge, and a new lower bumper ornamentation. Stepping around to the back, the VF Commodore has a redesigned trunk lid to improve aerodynamics and new taillights. Inside, Holden addressed one of the main concerns on the VE Commodore; a poor feeling interior. The VF's interior comes with a more luxurious design and higher quality materials. There is also a lot interior pieces and tech from other GM models such as the MyLink infotainment system. Under the skin, the VF Commodore uses a lighter body that that includes a aluminium hood and trunk lid. The body is also more aerodynamic which helps improve fuel economy. Holden is keeping mum on the powertrains, but its safe to assume that a lineup of V6 and V8 engines will be there. Other tricks the VF Commodore comes with includes a self parking system, blind-spot warning, forward-collision alert, lane-departure warning, head-up display, and other features. More information of the VF Commodore will be announced next month. The VF Commodore will make its North American appearance as the Chevrolet SS next week. Source: Holden Album: Holden VF Commodore 17 images 0 comments William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Holden's New VF Commodore Breaks Cover Australian Designed, Engineered and Manufactured – New Commodore Ushers in Technology Revolution The most technologically-advanced car ever created in Australia has broken cover. Unveiled at an exclusive event in Melbourne’s stylish Docklands, Holden’s new VF Commodore also spearheads a new export campaign to the USA in the form of the Chevrolet SS Sports Sedan. It brings in a host of new technologies that make it not only the best Commodore ever, but also one that is safer, more user-friendly and more fuel efficient. It also brings new levels of luxury and refinement to the large car segment, with a sumptuous new interior to match its upmarket exterior. “The VF Commodore really is a class above,” said Holden Chairman and Managing Director Mike Devereux. “No other car created in Australia is as technologically advanced, and we’re very proud that not only was the VF designed and engineered here, but it will also be exported to the USA for GM’s biggest global brand, Chevrolet.” The VF Commodore, which will be built at Holden Vehicle Operations in the Adelaide suburb of Elizabeth, South Australia, highlights Holden’s advanced global design capability and promises a driving experience on a par with top-marque competitors. It will also be more fuel efficient. Thanks in part to the Federal Government’s grant of $39.8 million through the Green Car Innovation Fund, it features lightweight aluminium panels along with other fuel saving features such as electric power steering. It is also more aerodynamic than the VE Commodore it will replace. Among its many new technology features are some significant safety and driver friendly elements. Key convenience features include Auto Park Assist on all models, where the driver operates the pedals but the car effectively parks itself. Unlike many similar systems, it also allows drivers to choose between a parallel or 90 degree angle park. It also gets the latest version of Holden’s innovative MyLink infotainment system and keyless entry and start. Safety features include Reverse Traffic Alert, which warns of vehicles passing when reversing out of spaces, Blind Spot Alert, Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning and a Head-Up Display, which projects vital safety information such as the car’s speed directly onto the windscreen. The new Calais V-Series sedan, on which the show car is based, will headline an extensively upgraded VF Commodore model range that goes on sale mid-year. “Our aim with the new VF Commodore was to create a car that challenged some of the broader perceptions people have about the traditional Australian-made large car,” said Holden Chairman and Managing Director Mike Devereux. “We have created a car that not only serves the loyal buyers who continue to make Commodore one of the most popular cars in Australia, but also a new breed of discerning customer who wants higher levels of luxury and technology in their car. “When it goes on sale, it will offer levels of quality and sophistication to rival some of the best cars in the world.” The VF Commodore was designed and engineered at Holden’s headquarters in Port Melbourne, Victoria. Holden’s Director of Design, Andrew Smith, said the VF exterior design was a precise, contemporary execution that held true to the dynamic poise of its predecessor. “We’ve taken a powerful existing form and brought it up to another level, with the feeling now about projecting a real sense of quality and technological aptitude,” he said. “The styling is characterised by sculpted forms and richer detailing. There’s more gleam and polish at every point and careful attention to detail everywhere you look, from the vibrant front fascias and projector headlamp treatments through to the all-new rear end graphics. “And the key interior elements are entirely new: instrument panel, console, cockpit, seats, steering wheel, switches, shifters, textures, you name it, no detail has escaped attention. “Our designers set out with deliberate intent to exceed expectations by creating a cabin with premium large car ambience – a wow factor, if you like – that’s characterised by a fresh sense of luxury, comfort and convenience. “It’s a carefully cohesive design which echoes the detailed aesthetic of the exterior and places emphasis on rich, tactile materials and technical refinement. The ergonomic integration is excellent yet it retains a completely intuitive Holden feel”. “These vehicles reflect the truly international nature of our business and they can certainly hold their own anywhere in the world”. Holden’s range-topping V-Series Calais spearheads a strategy aimed at extending its upmarket luxury car appeal to a broader band of buyers. VF’s polished good looks owe much to great bone structure. The brilliant silhouette and athletic, wide track stance that made the award-winning 2006 VE Commodore an automotive style icon now reinforce a street-smart new look that’s fresher, more sophisticated and aerodynamically advanced. The Calais V’s streamlined exterior is also more aerodynamically efficient than the model it replaces. Given improved fuel economy as a major VF program target, Holden designers and engineers made extensive use of virtual modelling and wind tunnel technology to create a slippery new shape. The cabin design was driven by the requirement to integrate a raft of advanced driver assistance and infotainment technologies and to meet demanding GM global benchmarks. Given the opportunity to make extensive changes, the Holden interior design team went for it full-on. Their aim was to define new targets for perception of quality and interior harmony, using ‘best of the best’ benchmarking data. The result is a significant step forward in terms of craftsmanship, custom-tailored materials, fit and finish, ergonomic layout and all-round driving comfort. Interior themes All-new instrument panel with integrated centre stack and cowled instrument dials combines infotainment, climate and other controls into a contemporary piece of modern electronics Stylish new seat designs feature new structures and luxury comfort profiles Quality, layered trim finishes in smooth soft-feel leather and suede with perforated leather inserts are accented by twin-needle stitching Strokes of bright and galvano silver chrome and metallic embellishments gleam against jet black and light titanium background hues Ice blue ambient lighting illuminates a re-designed centre console with versatile small item storage solutions and maxi cup holders Ergonomic improvements include a new steering wheel design and a console-mounted electric park brake button (goodbye handbrake lever). Power window switches are relocated to the armrests, the boot release control to the driver’s door VF’s evolutionary exterior design is a dynamic, mature execution – more sculptural and highly refined, with exceptional finishes, richer detailing, bright and jewelled accents. Exterior themes Up front: the higher, wider front end features complex hood surfacing with a subtle central power bulge; raking spears point focus at prominent signature trapezoidal grilles Jewelled halogen projector headlamps incorporate a ‘curved blade’ park lamp effect Lower air intakes are flanked by LED daytime running lamps and fog lamps New front fenders complement the flared, aero-sculpted wheel arches In profile: all potency and forward movement with an upper decklid line that kicks into a slim integrated spoiler; chrome fender vents, larger, multi-spoke, machine-faced wheels At the rear: a wider, more planted stance. Streamlined, uncluttered graphics are dominated by intricately jewelled new tail lamps that extend into the decklid
  7. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com February 9, 2013 Holden has pulled back the curtain for the new VF Commodore this morning in Australia. The VF Commodore according to Holden "the most technologically-advanced car ever created in Australia". This is an important car for Holden since sales of the Commodore and other big sedans in Australia have been on the decline. The VF Commodore retires the “geometrical” design theme used on the VE Commodore and uses the “scultptural” design theme. Up front, the VF Commodore has a higher, wider front grille, subtle central power bulge, and a new lower bumper ornamentation. Stepping around to the back, the VF Commodore has a redesigned trunk lid to improve aerodynamics and new taillights. Inside, Holden addressed one of the main concerns on the VE Commodore; a poor feeling interior. The VF's interior comes with a more luxurious design and higher quality materials. There is also a lot interior pieces and tech from other GM models such as the MyLink infotainment system. Under the skin, the VF Commodore uses a lighter body that that includes a aluminium hood and trunk lid. The body is also more aerodynamic which helps improve fuel economy. Holden is keeping mum on the powertrains, but its safe to assume that a lineup of V6 and V8 engines will be there. Other tricks the VF Commodore comes with includes a self parking system, blind-spot warning, forward-collision alert, lane-departure warning, head-up display, and other features. More information of the VF Commodore will be announced next month. The VF Commodore will make its North American appearance as the Chevrolet SS next week. Source: Holden Album: Holden VF Commodore 17 images 0 comments William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Holden's New VF Commodore Breaks Cover Australian Designed, Engineered and Manufactured – New Commodore Ushers in Technology Revolution The most technologically-advanced car ever created in Australia has broken cover. Unveiled at an exclusive event in Melbourne’s stylish Docklands, Holden’s new VF Commodore also spearheads a new export campaign to the USA in the form of the Chevrolet SS Sports Sedan. It brings in a host of new technologies that make it not only the best Commodore ever, but also one that is safer, more user-friendly and more fuel efficient. It also brings new levels of luxury and refinement to the large car segment, with a sumptuous new interior to match its upmarket exterior. “The VF Commodore really is a class above,” said Holden Chairman and Managing Director Mike Devereux. “No other car created in Australia is as technologically advanced, and we’re very proud that not only was the VF designed and engineered here, but it will also be exported to the USA for GM’s biggest global brand, Chevrolet.” The VF Commodore, which will be built at Holden Vehicle Operations in the Adelaide suburb of Elizabeth, South Australia, highlights Holden’s advanced global design capability and promises a driving experience on a par with top-marque competitors. It will also be more fuel efficient. Thanks in part to the Federal Government’s grant of $39.8 million through the Green Car Innovation Fund, it features lightweight aluminium panels along with other fuel saving features such as electric power steering. It is also more aerodynamic than the VE Commodore it will replace. Among its many new technology features are some significant safety and driver friendly elements. Key convenience features include Auto Park Assist on all models, where the driver operates the pedals but the car effectively parks itself. Unlike many similar systems, it also allows drivers to choose between a parallel or 90 degree angle park. It also gets the latest version of Holden’s innovative MyLink infotainment system and keyless entry and start. Safety features include Reverse Traffic Alert, which warns of vehicles passing when reversing out of spaces, Blind Spot Alert, Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning and a Head-Up Display, which projects vital safety information such as the car’s speed directly onto the windscreen. The new Calais V-Series sedan, on which the show car is based, will headline an extensively upgraded VF Commodore model range that goes on sale mid-year. “Our aim with the new VF Commodore was to create a car that challenged some of the broader perceptions people have about the traditional Australian-made large car,” said Holden Chairman and Managing Director Mike Devereux. “We have created a car that not only serves the loyal buyers who continue to make Commodore one of the most popular cars in Australia, but also a new breed of discerning customer who wants higher levels of luxury and technology in their car. “When it goes on sale, it will offer levels of quality and sophistication to rival some of the best cars in the world.” The VF Commodore was designed and engineered at Holden’s headquarters in Port Melbourne, Victoria. Holden’s Director of Design, Andrew Smith, said the VF exterior design was a precise, contemporary execution that held true to the dynamic poise of its predecessor. “We’ve taken a powerful existing form and brought it up to another level, with the feeling now about projecting a real sense of quality and technological aptitude,” he said. “The styling is characterised by sculpted forms and richer detailing. There’s more gleam and polish at every point and careful attention to detail everywhere you look, from the vibrant front fascias and projector headlamp treatments through to the all-new rear end graphics. “And the key interior elements are entirely new: instrument panel, console, cockpit, seats, steering wheel, switches, shifters, textures, you name it, no detail has escaped attention. “Our designers set out with deliberate intent to exceed expectations by creating a cabin with premium large car ambience – a wow factor, if you like – that’s characterised by a fresh sense of luxury, comfort and convenience. “It’s a carefully cohesive design which echoes the detailed aesthetic of the exterior and places emphasis on rich, tactile materials and technical refinement. The ergonomic integration is excellent yet it retains a completely intuitive Holden feel”. “These vehicles reflect the truly international nature of our business and they can certainly hold their own anywhere in the world”. Holden’s range-topping V-Series Calais spearheads a strategy aimed at extending its upmarket luxury car appeal to a broader band of buyers. VF’s polished good looks owe much to great bone structure. The brilliant silhouette and athletic, wide track stance that made the award-winning 2006 VE Commodore an automotive style icon now reinforce a street-smart new look that’s fresher, more sophisticated and aerodynamically advanced. The Calais V’s streamlined exterior is also more aerodynamically efficient than the model it replaces. Given improved fuel economy as a major VF program target, Holden designers and engineers made extensive use of virtual modelling and wind tunnel technology to create a slippery new shape. The cabin design was driven by the requirement to integrate a raft of advanced driver assistance and infotainment technologies and to meet demanding GM global benchmarks. Given the opportunity to make extensive changes, the Holden interior design team went for it full-on. Their aim was to define new targets for perception of quality and interior harmony, using ‘best of the best’ benchmarking data. The result is a significant step forward in terms of craftsmanship, custom-tailored materials, fit and finish, ergonomic layout and all-round driving comfort. Interior themes All-new instrument panel with integrated centre stack and cowled instrument dials combines infotainment, climate and other controls into a contemporary piece of modern electronics Stylish new seat designs feature new structures and luxury comfort profiles Quality, layered trim finishes in smooth soft-feel leather and suede with perforated leather inserts are accented by twin-needle stitching Strokes of bright and galvano silver chrome and metallic embellishments gleam against jet black and light titanium background hues Ice blue ambient lighting illuminates a re-designed centre console with versatile small item storage solutions and maxi cup holders Ergonomic improvements include a new steering wheel design and a console-mounted electric park brake button (goodbye handbrake lever). Power window switches are relocated to the armrests, the boot release control to the driver’s door VF’s evolutionary exterior design is a dynamic, mature execution – more sculptural and highly refined, with exceptional finishes, richer detailing, bright and jewelled accents. Exterior themes Up front: the higher, wider front end features complex hood surfacing with a subtle central power bulge; raking spears point focus at prominent signature trapezoidal grilles Jewelled halogen projector headlamps incorporate a ‘curved blade’ park lamp effect Lower air intakes are flanked by LED daytime running lamps and fog lamps New front fenders complement the flared, aero-sculpted wheel arches In profile: all potency and forward movement with an upper decklid line that kicks into a slim integrated spoiler; chrome fender vents, larger, multi-spoke, machine-faced wheels At the rear: a wider, more planted stance. Streamlined, uncluttered graphics are dominated by intricately jewelled new tail lamps that extend into the decklid View full article
  8. Could The Next Gen Holden Commodore Be The Last To Be Born In Australia? William Maley - Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com November 3, 2011 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
  9. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 4, 2012 There's a lot of questions dealing with Holden Commodore after 2017. The facelifted Commodore, the VF, will be debuting next year on the Zeta platform. But when 2017, Zeta will not be used at all. “Zeta is not a global platform for GM,” said Holden boss, Mike Devereux, during a tour of the Elizabeth production facility. Holden has confirmed that it will produce two new Australian-made cars based on two global platforms as part of a billion-dollar investment to guarantee building vehicles in Australia until 2022. The first vehicle will likely be the new Cruze which will be based on new platform which will combine Delta II and Theta platforms into one. The other vehicle, which could be the Commodore could go a number of ways. “It could be that we stick with the configuration that we have here, in terms of rear-wheel drive sports sedan. It could be bigger, it could be smaller, it could be that we don’t go with rear-wheel drive and go with front-wheel drive. And the difficulty is that we have to make decisions very quickly here that we have to live with until 2022,” Devereux said. If the next generation Commodore was to go RWD, most likely it would use a GM's Alpha platform. If it goes to FWD/AWD, Epsilon II could be it. “I’d talk about it in terms of a larger car. Whether it’s a Commodore, if it feels like a Commodore, if it’s called a Commodore... the whole thing is having to predict what to do post-VF commodore in that late 2016, early 2017 time frame and coming up with a winner.” Source: Carsales.com.au William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  10. William Maley

    Future Of The Commodore Still Uncertain

    William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 4, 2012 There's a lot of questions dealing with Holden Commodore after 2017. The facelifted Commodore, the VF, will be debuting next year on the Zeta platform. But when 2017, Zeta will not be used at all. “Zeta is not a global platform for GM,” said Holden boss, Mike Devereux, during a tour of the Elizabeth production facility. Holden has confirmed that it will produce two new Australian-made cars based on two global platforms as part of a billion-dollar investment to guarantee building vehicles in Australia until 2022. The first vehicle will likely be the new Cruze which will be based on new platform which will combine Delta II and Theta platforms into one. The other vehicle, which could be the Commodore could go a number of ways. “It could be that we stick with the configuration that we have here, in terms of rear-wheel drive sports sedan. It could be bigger, it could be smaller, it could be that we don’t go with rear-wheel drive and go with front-wheel drive. And the difficulty is that we have to make decisions very quickly here that we have to live with until 2022,” Devereux said. If the next generation Commodore was to go RWD, most likely it would use a GM's Alpha platform. If it goes to FWD/AWD, Epsilon II could be it. “I’d talk about it in terms of a larger car. Whether it’s a Commodore, if it feels like a Commodore, if it’s called a Commodore... the whole thing is having to predict what to do post-VF commodore in that late 2016, early 2017 time frame and coming up with a winner.” Source: Carsales.com.au William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  11. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 22, 2012 The dream of the Holden Ute coming to the states has made a resurgence when General Motors announced the Holden Commodore would be coming as the Chevrolet SS. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news to the small group who cling onto this dream, but the Ute will not be coming. A report from the Herald Sun states that if Holden was to export the Ute to the U.S., the vehicle would fall under a light commercial tariff rate of 35%, three times higher than the tariff for passenger vehicles. "We were hopeful at one stage, we thought we might be able to duck in under it, but it was ruled out. With the dollar where it is, exports can only be pursued that are niche ... and profitable in this environment," said Richard Phillips, Holden's executive director of manufacturing. Source: Herald Sun William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  12. William Maley

    Holden Ute Not Coming Due To High Tarrifs

    William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 22, 2012 The dream of the Holden Ute coming to the states has made a resurgence when General Motors announced the Holden Commodore would be coming as the Chevrolet SS. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news to the small group who cling onto this dream, but the Ute will not be coming. A report from the Herald Sun states that if Holden was to export the Ute to the U.S., the vehicle would fall under a light commercial tariff rate of 35%, three times higher than the tariff for passenger vehicles. "We were hopeful at one stage, we thought we might be able to duck in under it, but it was ruled out. With the dollar where it is, exports can only be pursued that are niche ... and profitable in this environment," said Richard Phillips, Holden's executive director of manufacturing. Source: Herald Sun William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  13. dfelt

    Mad Max 4 Fury Road

    So I missed this in October but so did many others I suspect. A 4th installment in the beloved Mad Max series, MAD MAX 4 FURY ROAD! Features a Bad Ass Holden Ute! http://www.madmaxmovies.com/mad-max-4-fury-road/fury-road-cars/fx-holden-ute/index.html The Interceptor http://www.madmaxmovies.com/mad-max-4-fury-road/fury-road-cars/fury-road-interceptor/index.html Charese Theron is in the movie, new images of her online being bald for the movie and it is being filmed in Australia! Looking forward to this bad ass movie. I hope they do the franchise proud! Interesting Cast: The lovely blonde from Transformers is in the movie too I see. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1392190/ Enjoy!
  14. William Maley Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com May 17, 2012 After months of speculation, rumor, and hearsay, GM let the cat out of the bag today. Coming late next year as a 2014 model, the Chevrolet SS RWD sedan. (Yes, SS is the actual name). The SS sedan will be based on the Holden Commodore sedan and it will be it will be used by NASCAR Sprint Cup teams starting at the 2013 Daytona 500. At the moment, Chevrolet isn't saying much about specifics. We're expecting a small-block V8, manual transmission option, and to be sold in limited numbers. “As a passionate race fan and performance enthusiast, I am thrilled that Chevrolet will deliver a true rear-wheel-drive NASCAR racecar in the SS that is closely linked to the performance sedan that will be available for sale. The Chevrolet SS is a great example of how GM is able to leverage its global product portfolio to deliver a unique performance experience that extends beyond the track. I am personally looking forward to driving it,” said Mark Reuss, president of GM North America in a press release. The lead up related to this: Chevy’s Upcoming SS Sedan May Give Way to a New Ute and Wagon Did OnStar Accidentally Confirm An SS Model In 2014? Rumorpile: GM Trademarks SS... Why Now? Impala Leaping Out of NASCAR, Unnamed Model Taking Its Place Press Release in on Page 2 Chevrolet Announces New SS Performance Sedan Will compete in 2013 NASCAR and arrive in showrooms as 2014 model DETROIT – Chevrolet today announced the return of a V-8 powered, rear-wheel-drive performance sedan to the U.S. lineup, the Chevrolet SS. The SS will also be Chevrolet’s next NASCAR Sprint Cup racecar and will debut in its race configuration at the 2013 Daytona 500. The limited production version of the Chevrolet SS will be a 2014 model and will arrive in dealer showrooms in late 2013. It is the first time in 17 years that Chevrolet will offer a rear-wheel-drive sedan for sale in the United States. Chevrolet has a long history of using the SS (Super Sport) designation on high-performance models of some of its most enduring nameplates. The SS designation first appeared in 1957 on a Corvette prototype race car built under the guidance of Zora Arkus-Duntov with the plan to enter it in the Le Mans 24-hour race. The first production vehicle offered with an SS option was the 1961 Impala – 453 were built with the performance upgrades which included a modified chassis and suspension, power brakes, a steering column mounted tachometer and unique wheels and tires. The latest SS model in the Chevrolet lineup is the fifth-generation Camaro, which debuted in 2010. The Chevrolet SS will be a derivative of the award-winning global rear-wheel-drive architecture that spawns performance vehicles like Chevrolet Camaro and Holden’s upcoming VF Commodore. The much anticipated Australian-built car will benefit from significant technology advances which enhance overall performance. “As a passionate race fan and performance enthusiast, I am thrilled that Chevrolet will deliver a true rear-wheel-drive NASCAR racecar in the SS that is closely linked to the performance sedan that will be available for sale,” said Mark Reuss, president of GM North America. “The Chevrolet SS is a great example of how GM is able to leverage its global product portfolio to deliver a unique performance experience that extends beyond the track. I am personally looking forward to driving it.” Chevrolet was America’s best-selling performance car brand in 2011 with Camaro and Corvette accounting for one out of every three sports cars sold in the United States. The addition of the SS should strengthen Chevrolet’s position as a leading performance brand. View full article
  15. William Maley Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com May 17, 2012 After months of speculation, rumor, and hearsay, GM let the cat out of the bag today. Coming late next year as a 2014 model, the Chevrolet SS RWD sedan. (Yes, SS is the actual name). The SS sedan will be based on the Holden Commodore sedan and it will be it will be used by NASCAR Sprint Cup teams starting at the 2013 Daytona 500. At the moment, Chevrolet isn't saying much about specifics. We're expecting a small-block V8, manual transmission option, and to be sold in limited numbers. “As a passionate race fan and performance enthusiast, I am thrilled that Chevrolet will deliver a true rear-wheel-drive NASCAR racecar in the SS that is closely linked to the performance sedan that will be available for sale. The Chevrolet SS is a great example of how GM is able to leverage its global product portfolio to deliver a unique performance experience that extends beyond the track. I am personally looking forward to driving it,” said Mark Reuss, president of GM North America in a press release. The lead up related to this: Chevy’s Upcoming SS Sedan May Give Way to a New Ute and Wagon Did OnStar Accidentally Confirm An SS Model In 2014? Rumorpile: GM Trademarks SS... Why Now? Impala Leaping Out of NASCAR, Unnamed Model Taking Its Place Press Release in on Page 2 Chevrolet Announces New SS Performance Sedan Will compete in 2013 NASCAR and arrive in showrooms as 2014 model DETROIT – Chevrolet today announced the return of a V-8 powered, rear-wheel-drive performance sedan to the U.S. lineup, the Chevrolet SS. The SS will also be Chevrolet’s next NASCAR Sprint Cup racecar and will debut in its race configuration at the 2013 Daytona 500. The limited production version of the Chevrolet SS will be a 2014 model and will arrive in dealer showrooms in late 2013. It is the first time in 17 years that Chevrolet will offer a rear-wheel-drive sedan for sale in the United States. Chevrolet has a long history of using the SS (Super Sport) designation on high-performance models of some of its most enduring nameplates. The SS designation first appeared in 1957 on a Corvette prototype race car built under the guidance of Zora Arkus-Duntov with the plan to enter it in the Le Mans 24-hour race. The first production vehicle offered with an SS option was the 1961 Impala – 453 were built with the performance upgrades which included a modified chassis and suspension, power brakes, a steering column mounted tachometer and unique wheels and tires. The latest SS model in the Chevrolet lineup is the fifth-generation Camaro, which debuted in 2010. The Chevrolet SS will be a derivative of the award-winning global rear-wheel-drive architecture that spawns performance vehicles like Chevrolet Camaro and Holden’s upcoming VF Commodore. The much anticipated Australian-built car will benefit from significant technology advances which enhance overall performance. “As a passionate race fan and performance enthusiast, I am thrilled that Chevrolet will deliver a true rear-wheel-drive NASCAR racecar in the SS that is closely linked to the performance sedan that will be available for sale,” said Mark Reuss, president of GM North America. “The Chevrolet SS is a great example of how GM is able to leverage its global product portfolio to deliver a unique performance experience that extends beyond the track. I am personally looking forward to driving it.” Chevrolet was America’s best-selling performance car brand in 2011 with Camaro and Corvette accounting for one out of every three sports cars sold in the United States. The addition of the SS should strengthen Chevrolet’s position as a leading performance brand.
  16. Blake Noble Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com May 4th, 2012 GM hasn’t exactly been bashful about the fact it plans to build a new rear-drive performance sedan for Chevrolet next year, and race it on your local NASCAR track. Announced in March of this year, the upcoming Chevy — which will wear the SS moniker in either short or long-hand form — should likely boast the same 6.2 liter V8 heart which furiously beats beneath the hood of the Camaro SS. The 6.2 should produce upwards of 415 horsepower for use in the SS sedan. When news broke about the Chevrolet SS, it was widely believed that the car would be only be available with a V8 and four doors. However, that may not turn out to be the case as it seems GM may be planning to further expand the Bowtie brand’s portfolio of rear-drive cars. Car and Driver is reporting that after the SS is introduced with the hairy-chested 6.2 V8, Chevrolet will offer a version of the car for more squeamish buyers using a 3.6 liter V6 good for churning out 300-plus horsepower. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise given that most automakers must remain conscious of ever increasing CAFE regulations with every new model and a V6-powered Chevy SS would likely achieve highway mpg figures somewhere in the upper 20s. What may be seen as surprising is that the Chevy SS family may not be comprised of just a V6 or V8-powered sedan. When the SS moves to an updated, lighter version of the Zeta platform on which it is based, GM could very well introduce additional ute (read: ElCamino) and wagon bodystyles. This should take place around 2015, and production of the SS will also shift to North America — likely GM’s plant in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada — from Australia where it will first be built alongside the related Holden Commodore. It’s worth mentioning that while production of the Chevy SS will probably move out of Australia, it’s unclear if the Holden Commodore will follow suit. Australian website Drive is skeptical and thinks if the Commodore leaves its native home it likely wouldn’t happen until a totally new model is introduced for 2018, pending future currency exchange rates and sales. Whatever the case, enthusiasts will undoubtedly be excited at the prospect of not only the upcoming Chevy SS, but a new wagon and especially a successor to the beloved ElCamino. Let’s just hope that GM doesn’t revoke anyone’s green card this time around. Sources: Car and Driver, Drive
  17. Blake Noble Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com May 4th, 2012 GM hasn’t exactly been bashful about the fact it plans to build a new rear-drive performance sedan for Chevrolet next year, and race it on your local NASCAR track. Announced in March of this year, the upcoming Chevy — which will wear the SS moniker in either short or long-hand form — should likely boast the same 6.2 liter V8 heart which furiously beats beneath the hood of the Camaro SS. The 6.2 should produce upwards of 415 horsepower for use in the SS sedan. When news broke about the Chevrolet SS, it was widely believed that the car would be only be available with a V8 and four doors. However, that may not turn out to be the case as it seems GM may be planning to further expand the Bowtie brand’s portfolio of rear-drive cars. Car and Driver is reporting that after the SS is introduced with the hairy-chested 6.2 V8, Chevrolet will offer a version of the car for more squeamish buyers using a 3.6 liter V6 good for churning out 300-plus horsepower. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise given that most automakers must remain conscious of ever increasing CAFE regulations with every new model and a V6-powered Chevy SS would likely achieve highway mpg figures somewhere in the upper 20s. What may be seen as surprising is that the Chevy SS family may not be comprised of just a V6 or V8-powered sedan. When the SS moves to an updated, lighter version of the Zeta platform on which it is based, GM could very well introduce additional ute (read: ElCamino) and wagon bodystyles. This should take place around 2015, and production of the SS will also shift to North America — likely GM’s plant in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada — from Australia where it will first be built alongside the related Holden Commodore. It’s worth mentioning that while production of the Chevy SS will probably move out of Australia, it’s unclear if the Holden Commodore will follow suit. Australian website Drive is skeptical and thinks if the Commodore leaves its native home it likely wouldn’t happen until a totally new model is introduced for 2018, pending future currency exchange rates and sales. Whatever the case, enthusiasts will undoubtedly be excited at the prospect of not only the upcoming Chevy SS, but a new wagon and especially a successor to the beloved ElCamino. Let’s just hope that GM doesn’t revoke anyone’s green card this time around. Sources: Car and Driver, Drive View full article

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