By on December 16, 2013

Buick_LaCrosse_China_2012-04-28

Just as TTAC predicted in earlier editorials, Holden will be receiving vehicles imported from China as part of its future product plan – the vehicle slated to be imported from China is no less than the next generation Commodore.

Previous reports suggested that the next-gen Commodore would be a Camry-sized front-drive model that would also be sold as a Buick. Now the details have become clearer. The car was slated to be twinned with a Buick model made exclusively for the Chinese market and built in both China and Australia. But now that Holden has lost its Australian factories, China will be the sole location for the car’s production, and the Commodore will go ahead as a “Made in China” vehicle.

Holden will also offer a 4-cylinder engine for the first time since the 1980s, and Holden personnel are fighting to have a V6 available as an option. Holden last offered a 4-cylinder Commodore in the 1980s, and sales were dismal. Ford recently offered a Falcon with a 2.0L Ecoboost, but it accounted for less than 10 percent of sales.

According to NewsCorp, Holden feels that it’s easier to stick with the Commodore nameplate despite the drastic changes, rather than launch a whole new nameplate. The new car is said to be 196 inches long (one inch longer than the current car), and just as wide as today’s VF Commodore, but will look more like a European pseudo-coupe rather than the brawny, slab-sided look of the traditional Commodore.

There’s little doubt that a Commodore of this nature will be poorly received, with what’s left of the full-size Aussie sedan cohort rejecting this car as being an unworthy successor to the Commodore legacy. Holden’s marketing team is going to have a seriously difficult task on their hands come 2017.

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125 Comments on “Next Holden Commodore To Be Made In China, Sport 4-Cylinder Engine...”


  • avatar
    tresmonos

    Welcome to the fold, GM of Australia. All the government money in the world can’t prop up a throw back to the 50′s.

  • avatar

    Front wheel drive? 4 Cyl only? Made in China? They might as well kill Holden and put it out its misery. Why couldn’t they build it on the Alpha and export it out of America? Build it on the Alpha, throw in the 2.5L as the base engine for FE and the 2.0L turbo and 3.6L V6 as options. Why would Holden need another FWD 4 Cyl when they already have the Malibu?

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      This one is going to be more Impala-sized maybe? An imported Alpha would cost too much to fit in the Commodore’s sales slot.

      • 0 avatar
        Dirk Stigler

        Maybe more than just the size of an Impala. The car in the picture above looks to be a W-body Lucerne with a different front clip. The next Commodore is most likely going to be an Epsilon II, maybe even a rebadge of the Impala, but maybe they’ll recycle the W-body a final time. And they might as well, for all the good the newer platform will do them in the marketplace.

    • 0 avatar

      From where I sit, it seems like the obvious thing to do (could be lower volume, more premium), but maybe someone else can point out the flaws in that theory.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        The Aussies don’t buy enough cars to warrant their own special vehicles. Unless the modifications can be made cheaply, they aren’t worth the effort.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I never really understood why they had their own brand structure separate from Europe to begin with!

          They don’t seem to have a high enough population to warrant such effort. Otherwise, certainly Canada deserves its own separate brand structure as well.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The General Motors business model has been based largely upon acquisition. Most of its brands existed prior to GM owning them.

            Holden, Opel and Vauxhall were all in business prior to GM owning them. GM was harnessing the brand recognition and goodwill that existed at the time that GM bought them.

            But GM started out by exporting its brands to Canada. The situations aren’t comparable.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            That’s a good point. And as I understand Chrysler of AUS has always been a tier below, and largely rebranded Mitsubishi prods.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Corey,
            Holden the Company is older than GM starting prior to the 1900′s. Just before the relaxing of the tariffs, Holden and Ford made about 75% of cars here. other companies tried manufacturing and were successful for a while but the market eventually forced them out. Cars were extremely affordable in the 1970′s. Only the dropping of tariffs has made Manufacturing nonviable due to the vast number of imports.
            The US looks like it is going the same way. Although you have a very restricted market, “transplanted” European and Asian companies factories have chipped away athe Big 3 causing them grief.
            You could end up like the UK making more Automobiles now for foreign Companies, than they did when they were British Owned factories.

          • 0 avatar
            outback_ute

            @Corey – Pre-1960 Chrysler Aus imported Canadian vehicles and established assembly plants. The Valiant was built locally and gradually gained differentiation from the N/A cars to better suit local demands, culminating in a unique car (VH model) in 1971. From 1965/66 the Rootes Group vehicles were folded into the lineup after that takeover.

            In the early 70′s Chrysler Aus had captive import Mitsu’s similar to the US, they were quicker to drop the British Rootes cars though. When Chrysler was bailed out in the late 1970′s they sold off all foreign operations, the Australian one to Mitsubishi.

            Fast forward to the early 90′s and Chrysler returned with Jeep Cherokee, the minivan and the Neon, and they have largely been doing the same ever since.

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            Robert Ryan, I remeber dealing with Australia around 1980, when car prices there were at least twice then-prevailing levels in Canada – which in turn were already higher than US prices.

            They didn’t strike me as at all affordable, just the result of high capital costs and small production runs in a market closed to foreign competition.

            Also, I can’t imagine what fantasy leads you to call the US a restricted market. It’s quite thhe opposite, in most sectors, and arguably one of the most open in the world.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “I can’t imagine what fantasy leads you to call the US a restricted market.”

            His patriotism and ignorance aren’t doing him any favors.

            He wants to blame the US for the demise of Holden and Ford Australia’s local production, without realizing that they wouldn’t have been around as long they were without protection and subsidies.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @ect,
            Fantasy? The US is one of the most restricted markets on the Planet. You mean a Automobile manufacturer from the EU can send and sell a run of the mill, European Sedan in the US without any penalty or other type of restriction? That is the funniest comment I have heard all day.

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            Pch101,

            Nationalism? More like xenophobia, and a strong attachment to blind prejudice.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “More like xenophobia, and a strong attachment to blind prejudice.”

            OK, so I was being kind about it.

            The guy’s passion for the home team is only exceeded by his penchant for inaccuracy.

            It’s hard to think of a post of his that doesn’t include some sort of mangling of the truth (which explains why I find myself skipping past most of them.) Why allow facts to get in the way of a good argument?

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Pch101
            ““More like xenophobia, and a strong attachment to blind prejudice.”

            When you are beaten you resort to name calling, no facts.

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            In reviewing corporate and government studies, I have often had cause to observe that, when you start with the conclusion, it becomes much easier to do the analysis…

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            “In reviewing corporate and government studies, I have often had cause to observe that, when you start with the conclusion, it becomes much easier to do the analysis”

            No facts, more name calling.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            It’s not really possible to have a logical discussion with someone who believes that a country with a 5% import tariff and luxury car tax has a lower tariff than a country with a 2.5% tariff.

            It’s not really possible to have a logical discussion with someone who insists that the US applies the “chicken tax” on Australian vehicles, even though the US and Australian governments both confirm that the tariff doesn’t apply.

            Etc., etc., etc.

        • 0 avatar
          Jethrow

          Pch101, why the hell do you care? I was glad we had our own industry, small as it was, at least we made a killer V8 RWD sedan. When was the last time Chevy did that?

          You yanks make mostly crap sedans, and I for one do not want to have one of them. Much prefer the home grown product.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Pch101,
            It is not logical to have a discussion with someone who does not reference their quotes or conveniently does not answer questions posed. Australia is not in a NAFTA type arrangement.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Could not agree more a very bad choice by GM. The uniqueness of Holden is gone might as well buy a Hyundai or Kia.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Alpha is too small to be a Commodore replacement.

      The problem is there’s not a big enough market for a real Commodore. Marketing a Camry fighter is the right move. They just need to give it a different name.

      • 0 avatar

        model platform length wheelbase

        2014 CTS – GM Alpha – 195.5″ – 114.6″
        2014 Commodore – GM Zeta – 195.5″ – 114.8″

        It can work. I am not sure why Holden needs two midsize fwd sedans with a 4 cyl unless the Malibu will no longer be sold. The Aussie market is too small to need two sedans with the same layout. I suspect the new Commodore will become a premium sedan like the Lacrosse and the Malibu will be dropped.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          Well the Malibu(Korean made) does not sell. Holden’s problems with the Commodore will start after 2017 theoretically when the last of the true Holdens will be built.
          Where they source the cars from there who knows. Not Korea or China that is for certain.Depends if GM as a whole has a market in Australia worth servicing by then.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            Somewhere in a parallel universe, the Ford Mustang based on the Fox platform was killed and the Ford Probe became the new Mustang.

            All we need is Stewie and his space/time travel machine to see what that universe looks like. ;-)

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Nah you really don’t wanna see that universe. See the Probe replaced the Mustang and was cancelled shortly thereafter due to skyrocketing gasoline costs after Saddam Hussein won the Gulf War and put an embargo on the United States of the Confederacy. Instead of an SUV craze in the 90s, you had the two monsters of the industry, the Ford Escort and the Geo Metro, get bigger wheels, gunslit windows, and be lifted up to three foot off the ground while achieving 30mpg and up to 110 hp in 3spds.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            The Mustang has a lot of fascination with NA fans, a lot less with people outside NA.
            The small size, tiny 2.1 litre turbo and unfortunately the way it looks is not going to many more.
            http://www.gannett-cdn.com/-mm-/d0a1f3cfc9afbf2a492ddd1f1b5638545cd792ad/c=1163-23-4547-2567&r=x513&c=680×510/local/-/media/USATODAY/USATODAY/2013/12/04//1386182034000-15FordMustang-01-HR.jpg

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        The new CTS is on a stretched Alpha platform. It can work.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      The new one is 196 inches long, which you’ll find is quite a lot longer than the Malibu – 191.5″.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Nice looking Buick, it is what the Lucerne should have looked like, although it looks like a RWD variation of the Mercury Sable.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      I saw a 2008 Sable for sale at the nearby Lincoln dealer for $8000. It only had 38000 miles too. If my daughter was 16 years old instead of 16 months old, she’d be driving that AARPmobile.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        It’s on my list for my next sedan. BIG ASS SEDAN (BAS) with steep depreciation. 21 cubic ft trunk, back seat big enough for a Sister Wives orgy…

        • 0 avatar
          Marko

          Good way to describe it!

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            Friend of mine got a loaded Montego for like 10 grand…AWD, tinted windows, chrome wheels, full leather interior…it’s fancy enough that people try and buy drugs from him if he goes through the city.

            Meanwhile, I’m stuck with a 1995 Buick that gets frozen windows ON THE INSIDE. :P

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            My Achieva’s windows froze on the inside sometimes. How I miss you N-body GM products. It started everytime, so there’s that.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Its really a good vehicle. I like the Sable better than the Montego. The styling was a bit better, the engine was upgraded, and the CVT was replaced by the Ford/GM 6-speed. It is also much more spacious than the current Taurus or MKS.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Was it a rare AWD one?

        Or even rarer, AWD with sat nav?

        • 0 avatar
          NoGoYo

          AWD yes, forget if it has sat nav. I’ve got class with the guy tonight, I’ll ask him.

          Guess they just did not sell, because he got the car in like…2011? and it’s a 2006. 10 grand for a loaded full size five year old car is a monster steal.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          AWD, no Sat Nav on the one near me. I’m guessing the elderly couple that owned until recently, didn’t care for Sat Nav. In Grosse Pointe, you just need to know where GP ends and Detroit begins. Its easy to spot.

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            Now the question is…is a DTS worse than one of these?

            Because I kind want a DTS…better-sorted Northstar in a nicely designed body that looks fantastic in proper Cadillac black, but for all I know it’s an utter pile of crap.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I’d like to state some things here!

            Montego – CVT, underpowered 3.0L engine. AWD rare.

            Sable – 3.5L engine, regular 5-speed auto. Better interior! Better styling. AWD rare. Landau unfortunate.

            DTS- Northstar ok after 06. Relatively poor mpg. Archaic 4-speed auto. Impala+ interior. Cheapest feeling exterior door handles ever. AWD not available.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I always hear Northstar horror stories. I owned a Shortstar that was questionably reliable, but never a Northstar equipped vehicle.

            In the Sable, the combination of the Duratec 3.5 and GM/Ford 6-speed auto is pretty darn durable. The Montegos have the Ford CVT, which scares me.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Oh sorry didn’t see your comment 20 minutes earlier RE: Montego vs. Sable.

            I fully agree on the -let’s try this out- CVT by Ford.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            @CoreyDL, yes my saved Auto Trader search is 08-09 Taurus/Sable those were the best years with more power and a more conventional transmission.

            Although Baruth did assert in his review of a FiveHundred that he thought the early FiveHundreds and Montegos had more handling biased suspensions than their successors.

            @NoGoYo, automotive Russian Roulette, buy a 2006+ DTS or a 2005-2009 Jaguar XJ8? You’ll find that they’re roughly the same price on the used market.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            It’s hard to find the 08/09 in decent colors with AWD, or with AWD in any color. If the interior were more lux I might have considered one (AWD). In the end, bit old-man for my age though. They look great in that cinnabar red metallic.

            LOL@ DTS vs XJ. Relatively the same price to buy, which makes me sad. But the XJ WILL COST MOAR DOLLARS to keep running. But you’ll look good doing it.

            But NoGoYo is poor etc as has been documented here, so he don’t need to go British.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @NoGoYo

            Resale on both an XJ and Deville pretty much sucks, the Cadillac being the slightly more marketable of the two. So whatever you buy you’re going to take a loss on, the main variable here is running costs (inc maint). If you find a clean Cadillac in the correct color (black) with either low miles and reasonably priced or high miles at the right price, its a maybe. High miles example for $10K? Surely you jest. But personally I still generally avoid Northstar, the deal would have to be cavity causing sweet to sway my interest. If you feel like spending money, Taurus/Sable are nice but up your coin and go for MKZ. Taurus/Sable come through for 5-7K that’s one thing, but typically dealers will want money for them, even an 08-09.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I do wish it wasn’t in the greater Detroit area. My brother has been threatening to buy a new car for literally three years and complains because he can’t find anything low mileage under 10K. LM dealers here have those (although not many) but they put 13-14 on them (insane) and probably are looking for 10-12.

        http://southhillslincolnofpittsburgh.com/Pittsburgh/For-Sale/Used/?Make=Mercury&Model=Sable&MakeId=31&ModelId=228

  • avatar
    armadamaster

    Who put a Buick logo on that Ford Five Hundred?

    Looks like GM FWD rental car fodder for everybody!

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Holden will also offer a 4-cylinder engine for the first time since the 1980s”

    Winning!

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Assuming that the News Corp story is correct, it sounds as if this is GM’s experiment to gauge the acceptance of Chinese-made cars in developed nations. If this effort is successful, then expect it to be used as the basis for expanding the effort to exports to Europe and North America.

    “Holden will also offer a 4-cylinder engine for the first time since the 1980s”

    To clarify, this refers specifically to the Commodore. Holden already has other cars in its lineup with standard four-cylinder motors.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Correct. My ire was in reference to an I4 in the Commodore, not 4-cyl engines as a whole.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      Honda has already proven this with the Fit. Ford will do it with Rayong facility and the next Fiesta. The American consumer does not care where their stuff is made.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        Good they will close down US production which is very expensive compared to Thailand and China and move it there. Thai built F150′s anyone?

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        The Chinese Fits were sold in Canada, not in the US. And that was a stopgap measure — the next North American Fits will be built in Mexico.

        “The American consumer does not care where their stuff is made.”

        They do care where their cars are made, at least for now. The majority of US consumers claim that they wouldn’t want a Chinese car. China could make for a tough sell.

        GM can test the concept in Australia without much risk; if it doesn’t work out, then the mistakes will be limited to a small market. The US is too large of a prize to allow for that kind of dabbling.

        • 0 avatar
          Dirk Stigler

          Tell that to Hyundai. They managed to come back from the reputation of the original Excel and are now seen as a perfectly acceptable brand. And it only took them about three model changeovers to do it.

          The Japanese did it before them, and the Chinese can and likely will do it in the near future. Nothing is more constant than change…

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Dirk Stigler
            The Chinese will be on par with ‘Western’ vehicle offerings within a decade.

            I read an interesting article with comparisons in the development of Euro/NA/Japanese/Korean/Chinese vehicle development (including quality).

            It stated that the Japanese to about 20 years to catch up to European quality and it took Korea about 12 years and they figure the Chinese will reach this target within 8 years.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            I can see Chinese built US vehicles making an impact in the US. Remember all those Korean and Japanese branded Electronic goods come from Korean or Japanese owned factories in China,

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Hyundai isn’t selling Chinese cars to Americans.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            “Hyundai isn’t selling Chinese cars to Americans.”

            Not yet. You would have laughed that US Automobile Companies could possibly think of building US cars in Mexico. Ridiculous right?

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      Isn’t this what Mexico and NAFTA are for? Somehow, without and domestic brands, Mexico is the world’s 4th largest auto producer.

  • avatar
    cRacK hEaD aLLeY

    Can’t WAIT to see the next instance of Mad Max movie with Max Rockatansky pursuing the Nightrider both on FWD 4-bangers!

    I’s going to be epic!!!

  • avatar
    fincar1

    I am having a hard time reading TTAC this morning without Buick ads jumping up in my face. When I have to be extra careful where my cursor is, it really diminishes my ability to enjoy the site.

    • 0 avatar
      Mullholland

      I agree wholeheartedly! This new imbedded banner feature courtesy of Buick is one of the most annoying “new” features of the site. You guys need to talk to somebody on the ad sales side of the business and get this feature eliminated or at least changed to a click to activate instead of roll over. It really sucks in its current iteration.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    The last of the V8 interceptors…

    2017

    RIP Holden

    (ya I know Max’s car was a Ford Falcon)

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    It’s a shame that the manufacturing of vehicles in Australia is coming to an end. But, the end will not happen overnight.

    I would rather see the next GM come out of Korea or Thailand, even South Africa. But, GM is winding down it’s Korean operations (look at Korea carefully UAW guys).

    China is a gamble, but GM probably thinks it can make more profit from China. China will have the capacity to manufacture cars of an acceptable standard within the next few years.

    Foton is using Australia to gauge the acceptance of a higher quality Chinese vehicle in a Western market. GM will do the same.

    The acceptance of imported vehicles in Australia is quite high. This can be seen by the Mazda 3 being the largest seller in our market.

    Like I’ve stated, motor vehicle manufacturing will go the way of the textile industry. There are many cheaper options globally to bring these consumer products to our markets. The reality is they can do it just as good.

    As the world progresses you will find other manufacturing jobs will go. Not just in Australia, but all advanced economies.

    The only economies that manufacturing will increase in will be the economies that actively lower their currency valuations to be competitive against developing economies.

    Australia will have to find a stop gap measure to replace some of the manufacturing that is going off shore.

    At the end of the day, we in Australia will be better off. We will be able to have cheaper and just as competitive products available to us.

    This will allow money to be used in more viable investments and consumer products. Why should I pay taxation to subsidise a product I don’t buy?

    Why not? As the link below shows Australia is on its way to being an energy superpower. Between coal, gas, unranium, etc we will have a great standard of living for decades to come. This doesn’t include mining. We only manufactured historically due to our isolation.

    Now we aren’t isolated, we are in the thick of it, unlike most of the other advanced economies.

    Agriculture will also be the next boom industry for us.

    It’s about money and having the ability to have a choice of one of the largest range of vehicles globally. I love the choice we have. I still want more choice.

    Here’s a link worth reading. With this kind of activity in our economy we will not be a manufacturing nation.

    I love capitalism, it generates progress unlike socialist industrial protectionism.

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/mining-and-resources/australia-to-be-an-energy-superpower-20131216-2zgaw.html

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Big Al From OZ,
      I have never seen prices of Automobiles plunging in Australia with importation. The Horrendous competition that does not exist in the US(about 20 more models than is available than in the US) should THEORECTICALLY bring it down.
      GM and Ford eventually are going to be toast in this market as outside of the locally built vehicles their imported vehicles do not sell. That is not the case for Mazda, Toyota , Hyundai/Kia and VW to name but a few.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @RobertRyan
        Prices have tumbled over the past 25 years since the Button plan to liberalise our vehicle market started.

        In 1991 I looked at a Nissan Pulsar, it was priced at about $20k driveaway. Now how much is a Pulsar? $20k driveaway. Look at wages and the CPI over that period.

        In 1995 I bought that bucket XJ Cherokee Sports for $42k driveaway. You can get into a new Grand for $50k.

        In 1997 I bought a new D20 Navara 4×4 dual cab ST (mid spec) for $44k driveaway. Now, you can buy a D40 4×4 dual cab ST for $38k driveaway. Wages have more than doubled since 1997. So in effect the vehicle costs only 40% of the cost of my 97 ute.

        An equivalent to my D20 is the D22 selling for $32k driveaway now in Australia. The D22 has more power and a turbo in the diesel.

        Even my BT50GT I bought for $46k and it is light years in front of the D20 I bought in 97.

        Locally produced vehicles have had a issue remaining competitive in this environment.

        Australia is now the largest per capita buyers of performance cars globally.

        Look at the Euro explosion as well as the SUV/CUV/ute market. All these vehicles represent approximately the same percentage of cost as did a hack back 15-20 years ago.

        Our wages have outstripped purchase costs significantly on everything.

        I’m in NJ at the moment an looking around the malls and shops (stores) our prices aren’t as bad as one would think. What is killing us is the cost of housing.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          Too fragmented a market to make a car here.
          Agree about the performance cars, we seem to like everything to be faster.
          Problem is with Luxury cars, still being ripped off
          General costs are similar to the US, but Housing is expensive only California come close.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @RobertRyan
            That’s why I think Ford and Holden should have been dissolved and new businesses created; FPV and HSV to sell performance only vehicles locally and globally.

            This would have kept vehicle design and development here. But I think we will keep a large part of that anyway.

            But that would have been a huge ask for Detroit.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Big Al from OZ,
            “FPV and HSV to sell performance only vehicles locally and globally.”

            You needed the rest of their production to do that though.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @RobertRyan
            The reality is GM and Ford could have used Australia to build and manufacture Euro prestige competitors.

            You are still looking at Holden and Fords as everyday hacks. I’m looking at the top end of the market.

            Even if they sold a couple hundred thousand a year.

            GMH with the help of some ex-BMW engineers has designed and developed a fantastic platform, why not capitalise on it.

            It seems GM will be going back home globally. I don’t think GM will be around within a decade or two. I’ve always predicted GM would eventually be bought out by Ford. I know this is hard to fathom. But GM is too loyal to the US to be sold to a Euro/Asian especially a Chinese manufacturer. This comment will stir up the GM fanboi’s.

        • 0 avatar
          luvmyv8

          @big al, you guys still have D22′s sold as new?

          I owned the American version of the D22, a ’01 Frontier Desert Runner SE V6. Had the VG33E SOHC 3.3L V6, 5 speed stick and was loaded. Great truck. One of the few vehicles I wish I held on to. I wanted to add Navara badges to it, but those are pretty hard to come by in the States…..

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            luvmyv8
            Yes we still have the D22. Sort of hanging in there like the old US Ranger.

            The D22 only comes with a CRD diesel. I know a dual cab, mid spec 4×4 is currently going for around $32k.

            They have made an uglier front end for them, but for a reliable cheap truck you wouldn’t care too much.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      Speaking as an American, you are unfortunately so delusional about the wonders of losing all your manufacturing jobs and “transitioning” to a “service” economy.

      Know what’s next, based on our experience with that transition here? Displaced ex-employees displacing teens as fast-food burger flippers and getting smashed by anti-union laws when they strike for a living wage.

      Unfettered capitalism’s “creative destruction” is more the latter than the former when it’s overseen by billionaire banker/players engineering a race to the bottom for everybody else’s living standards. Hope you guys Down Under learn this faster than we didn’t.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @tonycd
        Service sector jobs aren’t just burger flippers. Here mainly school kids do that kind of stuff.

        Over the past week or so that I’ve been in the US your current affairs and news/business shows have quite a bit of commentary and discussion involving minimum pay.

        What came out of it is that 64% of your minimum wage workers are over 21 years of age. This seems to be a transition in your economy. We have yet to witness this. Other articles indicate that the US middle class is shrinking.

        Also, as an aside, increasing the minimum wage isn’t going to kill your economy, it will do it some good. Inflation will rise. All wages will rise to meet the increased costs of living. In Australia with our ‘burger flippers’ receiving $18.00per hour at McDonalds has a Big Mac meal at $7.95. This makes it more affordable for someone on $18.00 an hour rather than $7.50 an hour.

        Then the USD value would adjust to keep everything in equilibrium with external influences and trade.

        So most of the talk about pricing is crap involving the minimum wage increase.

        Australia has quite a large education industry. In the future as OECD economies age we will need to provide care, plus additional medical services that will require medical professionals. Another problem the US is going to meet.

        The best spin off of our high currency value and income has been the streamlining of existing business. Efficiency gains are great. Australia is also focusing on more high tech manufacturing jobs.

        Agriculture is also going to boom here to provide the many new middle class in our region with a high protein diet.

        Our farmers don’t receive subsidisation like our Euro/Japanese/NA counterparts. This has created an efficient agri industry.

        Our dollar will also drop to about US 85c to the AUD. This is a depreciation of between 15%-20%. This will help our farmers and miners. These guys are the bread winners for our economy not Holden, Ford and Toyota.

        Expanding and enhancing what we are good at economically is better than subsidising something we are good at. Like I’ve stated manufacturing is old school. But the type of manufacturing activity has to be taken into account.

        Manufacturing TVs, toaster, hammers and vehicles is very 50s. Look at the textile industry. Did the offshoring of the textile industry out of the US make for a worse economy.

        It seems an economy that is geared more towards user pays is more successful. Like I’ve always stated subsidised industry is only good in the short term. It it can’t compete let it fall over so money is better spent.

        How do you run your household budget? Do you over borrow for an eternity? Not possible.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          “Manufacturing TVs, toaster, hammers and vehicles is very 50s. Look at the textile industry. Did the offshoring of the textile industry out of the US make for a worse economy.”

          It absolutely did. I lived in Reading, Pennsylvania, which was an old textile mill town, in the mid-90s. When that industry went away in the 1960′s-1980′s, all the decent-paying mill jobs went away as well. Then they tried redeveloping the textile mills as outlet malls. That brought a lot of tourism, but it replaced moderate-income textile jobs with lower paying retail jobs. The effect on Reading was devastating – the city lost about 20-25% of its population between 1950 and 1990.

          And this was repeated in hundreds of small to medium sized towns all over the country, mainly in the south. In many of these towns, the textile factory was the big employer in town, and when it went, the town went too. Why do you think the United States’ population has become so predominantly urban in the last 40 years or so? It’s because small industrial cities have gone the way of the dodo, and the reason is the loss of light and heavy industry. With few exceptions, small, non surburban cities are economic dead zones now, unless they’re lucky enough to have a state university, regional medical center, or some other business generator. Industry is largely gone.

          Yes, it did hurt our economy. No question about it. Your country would be insane to repeat our example.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            “Yes, it did hurt our economy. No question about it. Your country would be insane to repeat our example”

            Agree on that. They need to have more cutting edge manufacturing to replace the car industries that were there. Then you could get a variety of jobs revolving around a particular industry.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “Your country would be insane to repeat our example.”

            They don’t have much of a choice.

            There are only two possible approaches: (a) prop up the automkers with tariffs and subsidies, or (b) develop a reputation that is strong enough that consumers will pay very high prices for goods made in that market.

            The former isn’t going to happen, as it’s not particularly good policy. The latter just isn’t going to happen; the Aussies aren’t the Germans.

            The transition to a service economy is the inevitable byproduct of affluence combined with free(r) trade and the lack of enough strong export products to offset the demand for imports. The situation may not be ideal, but there is no alterative.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @FreedMike
            Yes, but how much would a pair of US made jocks cost? I remember when our textile industry unions ruled the roost here.

            In the early 80s we paid $49.00 for a pair of Levi 501s. Our weekly income was only $280 per week.

            What would happen to your economy if clothing was forced to be manufactured in the US?

            You will spend lots on American made underwear, TVs, dinner plates, toys and on and on you would go back to single car households.

            As much as some would like to think the US isn’t self sustaining or sufficient. No country is. If they are they would be similar to Cuba or Nth Korea.

            The standard of living the US has been achieved by reaching out globally. Even when the US had an insular global view it still was a major exporter.

            Certain products are economical to manufacture in the US. But many aren’t particularly labour intensive products, unless they are protected.

            Maybe one day robotics will replace humans and the textile industry will return to your country.

            Australia is a prime example of an economy that has very high wages and standard of living. To maintain this you must forgo certain aspect of an economy and create new industries.

            The US/Euro/Japanese trying to compete head to head with the developing nations in manufacturing labour intensive products can only lead to a decline in living standards.

            Subsidising and protectionism only lowers living standards while hiding under lying issues causing these deficiencies. Subsidies and protectionism also increase the risk of a collapse.

            Sooner or later the taxpayer in the US will not be able to support increased debt.

            But, it took Australia 30 years to transform from a protected market to the second freest economy in the world.

            We will always have a fluid market as can be seen by our currency value swings and interest rate swings. But we are always paying true market value for our money. We never had Freddie Mac/Fannie May providing subsidised home loans either.

            Like I stated in the past all OECD economies have to re-evaluate how they are managing themselves.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            @Big Al from Oz Yes, but how much would a pair of US made jocks cost?

            About $25 for US Made vs. about $7.50 for a 7 pack imported.

            http://www.flintandtinderusa.com/underwear/heritage-basic-briefs

            http://www.unionlabel.com/briefs-2-pc-packag.html

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            @PCH101:

            Agreed, a certain amount of de-industrializing is inevitable, and positive. Also agreed that the Australian auto industry was probably fundamentally damaged and wasn’t worth saving.

            None of that means you gleefully wave goodbye to manufacturing and talk about how good it will be for the economy. You hang on to as much of it as you can. Maybe the auto industry was doomed to die in Australia, but there are other industries that aren’t. Nations let their industrial base go away at their own peril – and we’re the cautionary tale for that.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            @Big Al:

            OK, so what industry do you want to “create” to make up for all those industrial jobs lost? I mean, if there’s any nation on Earth that could “create” new industries, it’s the United States, and we failed to replace all the lost industries with new ones. The result is that the benefits of the expanded wealth we’ve experienced haven’t reached tens of millions of people…and probably never will. That is a fundamental economic issue that may never be solved.

            You don’t want that in your country. Trust me. Don’t wave bye-bye to light and medium industry happily – hang on to it ZEALOUSLY.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “None of that means you gleefully wave goodbye to manufacturing and talk about how good it will be for the economy.”

            For now, Australia is propped up by mining exports, which offsets the downsides.

            Regardless, there isn’t much to be done. The country is too small and distant from the rest of the world to support the scale economies needed for manufacturing. “Holding on” to that would only be delaying the inevitable, and maintaining those inefficiencies comes with its own cost. It may not be worth celebrating, but it is what it is.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            “Regardless, there isn’t much to be done. The country is too small and distant from the rest of the world to support the scale economies needed for manufacturing”

            Makes you wonder why Manufacturing has been failing in the US and the level of manufacturing is not much more than Australia’s.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @FreedMike,

            .”Maybe the auto industry was doomed to die in Australia, but there are other industries that aren’t. ”

            Correct and the allied industries to the Auto Industry have seen this coming and have started manufacturing for other industries. Really small suppliers are going to find it hard to switch.
            The US Economy is primarily a service economy that is desperately trying to get its manufacturing back.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Pch101 & FreedMike
            (FreedMike)Look at the German’s they are now the world’s largest exporters of high tech equipment. The US used to be, what went wrong? These are the jobs that can’t be done in China or elsewhere as good as a developed economy.

            (Pch101)In a way the opposite might be correct in describing Australia’s position.

            Isolated? We are not. That is far from the truth, What has the ‘old’ continents of the US and Europe got offer?

            The world is moving away from that region and into ours. Don’t forget the middle class in SE Asia, China and Indai including Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc is extremely large and growing rapidly. China and India alone represent 600 million middle class people.

            Our universities are run like corporations, we receive 10s of thousands of Asian students.

            These people are also the future business minds of their countries, and their allegiance to support our country will be higher. For Australia this is good future business.

            The US can rise if it finds what it is good at. I think the money wasted on all of that EV garbage, windmills, Solyndra, etc would have been better spent on needed infrastructure in the US to make it more competitive industrially and agriculturally.

            Even the Canadians’ are looking west to Asia and now east to Europe.

            Like I also stated before, we in the ‘West’ wanted all countries to be like us. Well now they are getting there, but they also want our jobs.

            We must out compete. We aren’t playing golf here with handicaps permitted, It’s all based on one for one.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Holden/GM is in a tough spot.

    Clearly the Bogans ain’t buyin’ anymore. With a “Pontiac” type image shifting to a “give them what they want” strategy is likely going to fall flat.

    But the hand writing was on the wall with labor costs, shrinking exports, the dramatic reduction of Australian imports tariffs, Euro and US fuel requirement standards, Ford pulling out, the cost of petrol in the home market, and a continuing view on the change of what a vehicle “is” and used for – the end was coming.

    But the Bogans sure aren’t going to buy a FWD 4-banger made in China sled either. Dark days ahead for the storied brand – dark days ahead.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @APaGttH,
      Can be summed up as too many models and choices for a smallish market. The amazing figure was 20 more models than what is available in the US. That is insane, US has a much more protected market being part of a major trading block.
      “Shrinking exports” were part of GMNA and Ford’s restrictions as well as a high Aussie Dollar(Something Canada is starting to feel)
      GM not just Holden as such, will be a non-event if the import a FWD “Holden” from China or worse still call it a Chevrolet.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Robert are you down under?

        My understanding is the Bogans like swapping out their Holden logos for Chevy ones (go figure).

        I’ve seen the pics on the various Holden sites and read the comments — but you have to be very careful basing how a market feels by what enthusiasts/say or do.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @APaGttH
          Firstly I think you are incorrectly using the term ‘bogan’. Everyone loves speed and power. But, more are also liking economy.

          Chev badges aren’t as popular as you would think. They do exist, but not as many as has been described on TTAC of late.

          We still have rear wheel drive and all wheel drive cars available.

          I think it is ironic that we will end up with car market similar to what the US has.

          You guys seem to be able to get to and from work and go shopping.

          The guys looking for V8 performance will have the Mustang and the Chrysler available. Not counting the Euro V8s.

          But, some of the smaller AWD Euro/Asian cars do quite well.

          I don’t think the country will stop or anything near that.

          There will be ways to have performance, just as we have always loved.

          Remember V8s are becoming passé, even for the US. In a decade see how many affordable V8s will be available to the average US consumer.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Big Al from Oz,
            I do not think the Mustang or Chrysler will figure prominently at all. HSV will be doing performance versions of Opels. Commercial Modifiers will be doing outrageous conversions of Utes, Holden sedans. Others will be buying Asian or European performance cars and the Commercial modifiers are already doing those.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @RobertRyan
            I agree with that.

            Sort of retro, like it was when we were kids. Factory Fords and Holdens were dreamlike for us to own.

            The ‘backyard’ engineers helped give us a great racing and performance car business.

            Even Braham, Perkins and others started out as backyard operators.

            Look at McGee. NHRA banned his V8 engine from competing because it was to good against the Top Fuelers and Funny Cars in the US.

            McGee was a small operator and built the best drag engines in the world. Left the Hemi based engines behind.

            I envisage innovation and some more great performance ideas coming out of Australia.

        • 0 avatar
          outback_ute

          For the 40+ years since they put Chev V8′s in Holdens they would sometimes gain a bowtie for the grille.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    @PrincipalDan: Caddy wins, I have a dealership I can take the thing to if something goes wrong that’s about 15 minutes away.

    Dunno where a Jag dealer is.

  • avatar

    If Chevy could only figure out a way to export its Silverado pickups to the land down under….

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @John Williams,
      Currently GM has a hard time trying to make RHD Corvettes and Cadillacs, let alone anything else. That is in the too hard basket. Although virtually all non-NA Manufacturers do not have a problem including Hyundai/Kia, Mercedes, Porsche, Fiat Peugeot..you name it.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @John Williams
      US full size half ton pickups has been tried in Australia on a couple of occasions. My father even had a Canadian F-100 in the late 70s and replaced it with a Nissan Cabstar LDT.

      We do have a limited market for US pickups which is being tended to in our grey import market.

      We have our midsizers that most want. But, don’t look at our midsizers like you do in the US. They are different, especially the latest generation. Prior to the latest generation I decided if I was to buy a pickup it would have been a US half ton. But these latest offerings are fantastic. Light years in front of any previous midsizer we had.

      I just hope GM has done a good job on the US Colorado and fixed up the quality of the interior and the steering rattle in the steering box and have gone to a rack and pinon setup like the VW Amarok, Ranger and BT50. The US Colorado sure looks much better than ours.

      Ford stated it will import only V8 Mustangs here as well. These might not sell as good as Ford will like. Australia likes US V8s, but in a 4 door. It might take time for the V8 guys to warm up to the Mustang.

      With the dropping of the Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon ute I do think there is a chance for V8s to be dropped into the Colorado and Ranger.

      I think Ford in the future will rely on the Coyote as the favoured engine, so a 5 litre Ranger would suit me fine. GM and Ford Racing are currently racing V8 engine Colorado’s and Ranger’s.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    @28: I made a mistake. My friend didn’t spent 10k for his loaded ’06 Montego, he spent $7,050. Well that’s just amazing.

    As for me…I just want a proper V8 American car more than anything in the world. No FWD 4 or 6 cylinder from Japan could ever come close in my heart to some old fashioned style Detroit iron…from a young age I’ve been overcome by the myth and legend of the V8 RWD American car, and I’m determined to throw all common sense aside just to experience what I’ve wanted my whole life.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I was offered an 06 Five Hundred AWD/30K (SEL package IIRC) in late 2009 early 2010 timeframe for $6500. I passed and don’t regret it. Mad Vulcan Powah just sounds like a good thing, couple it with an early CVT and you’re flirting with disaster. Whether the Aisin 6spd equipped model is any better I can’t say.

      “I just want a proper V8 American car more than anything in the world”

      Yeah those no longer exist, globalization’s a bitch.

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        Hey, where did I say “new”? I’m perfectly willing to buy old, I just have to find one I can afford.

        I’ve found a ’83 Grand Prix for sale for 800 bucks, but I can’t get the owner to reply to my e-mails and he didn’t post a phone number in the Craigslist posting.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          G-body is awesome and all but its not a realistic choice in 2013. You can buy it for under a grand but if its still factory its going to need alot to be brought up even to 2000 era spec. My memory is fuzzy but I believe the MY83 should have been either the 231 or the 305 Chevy, both of which were quite “m’eh”. Also the early G-bodies were 3spds not 4spd but it changed to 4spd in maybe MY85.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          @NoGoYo, oh god no. I owned a 1987 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme and even with the four speed auto and the E-quadrajet working perfectly that thing could barely keep on I75 back in 2001 when the speed limit was still 65 mph on most sections.

          You want to go THAT old and THAT cheap your better off with a 85+ Panther with fuel injected lo po 5.0. At least you’ll be able to hit 85 mph.

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            Psh, that’s what 4 barrel or TBI 350s rescued from junkyards are for!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            That’s what everyone was doing in 2000 too… seemed awesome at the time.

            I would consult a G-body god before getting myself into one. A G-body with the new 3.6/6spd and new rear end would be pretty awesome though.

  • avatar
    namesakeone

    I hate to say it, but the front looks way too much like an early-2000s Mercury Sable.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I realize that’s a Chinese market car and does resemble lesser US models (ie Merc Sable) but with minor changes I think its an attractive car. TTAC has helped me appreciate at least some Chinese new car drivers have excellent taste. I wish I could say the same of my countrymen.

  • avatar
    Styles79

    A minor correction, there was a 2.0 4-cyl engine in the VN Commodore, for some export markets (NZ included), the VN ceased production in 1991, so this will be the first 4 in a Commodore since the 90′s…..

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    More on the Holden Closure. A Good car killed by Corporate incompetence.
    http://www.goauto.com.au/mellor/mellor.nsf/story2/D0D148133AA5BBB4CA257C44001C1A9D


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