By on March 7, 2014

Holden Cruze

As Chevrolet slowly exits from the European market while Holden exits the production line altogether, General Motors is mulling over increasing exports to Australia out of South Korea.

Bloomberg reports the increase in exports is compensation for GM Korea losing as much as 15 percent to 20 percent of its production volume when Chevrolet closes the door on Europe at the end of 2015, and is roughly the same volume needed to fill the showroom floors in Australia while Holden winds down local production — and possibly itself — by 2017.

The Chevrolet experiment ultimately lost General Motors “millions” of dollars according to GM Korea CEO Sergio Rocha, though he expects the Australian market will more than make up for it:

With this money that we call ‘loss avoidance,’ I’m going to have a lot of money in the next couple of years that we can invest in new products to be competitive in the local market and for exports as well.

Meanwhile, GM will focus on Vauxhall and Opel vehicles in their native markets, with Opel also providing select vehicles to the Australian market, beginning with the Cascada convertible.

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41 Comments on “GM Korea May Increase Exports To Australia...”


  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Personally, I think vehicles will come from UK, Europe, Korea and surprisingly not mentioned was Thailand.

    The largest selling vehicles out of Korea will be the Cruze and Captiva.

    I would like to see Ford’s and Toyota’s future plans.

    It seems I might have been correct in assuming that the Australian vehicle parts manufacturers have received some export work. Not all will go under.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Big Al from Oz,
      GM Daewoo has the same vibe as 1990’s Hyundai Elantra’s..very bad. Talking to some people in the Industry, the Korean products are real turkeys.A Lot of problems.
      Thailand may not be a safe haven for GM/Ford as the country has a lot of political turbulence, at one stage talking about a civil war.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @RobertRyan
        The Thai’s will always have political instability. Malaysia would have been a much more stable country, but has a harsh protectionist economy.

        I wonder when Vietnam or Burma will be considered? A vehicle manufacturing plant can be placed in any country so long as you have it close to a large port with enough electricity.

        But remember the GM built the Colorado factory there.

        Even Ford’s initial plan was to import Rangers from Thailand into the US until the US government put a stop to that by stopping the US/Thai FTA.

    • 0 avatar

      Hey Big Al,

      What are your thoughts on how well GM full-size pickups and SUVs would sell in Australia.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @crazycarlarry
        Not Big Al from Oz, but pretty easy to answer. People here are not interested in gas Pickups. Small numbers of Diesel HD’s are imported for Grey Nomads who want to tow heavy caravans or 5th Wheelers.
        Large SUV,s like the Expedition need to go Off Road. Ford/GM/Chrysler with the exception of Ford have never imported US Pickups into Australia. Ford imported the F250 with the 7.3 diesel, but never went anywhere. In the late 1970’s built the F350 in Australia, it did not sell.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Even though sales of diesel vehicles have tripled over the past 10 years, diesel passenger cars still only account for 4 per cent of new cars sold while diesel SUVs account for 10 per cent and ***diesel utes and vans 15 per cent.*** “Despite the increasing popularity of diesel cars the fuel itself is still bought in relatively low volume at service stations, so there is not as much competition driving prices down,” said Mr Khoury.

          Figures from the Australian Institute of Petroleum show that only 25 per cent of all diesel is sold at service stations; 75 per cent is bought in bulk by the mining and agriculture industries. Of the diesel fuel sold at service stations about 80 per cent is bought by the long-haul trucking industry which gets a 12 cents per litre rebate from the Federal Government.

          http://www.carsguide.com.au/news-and-reviews/car-news/the_great_diesel_fuel_efficiency_myth
          ___________

          Apparently, 85% of new utes and vans sold in Australia don’t run on diesel.

          Do you actually live in Australia? You don’t seem to know very much about the place.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @PCH101
            Another idiotic post from you. Yes only 4% is
            of cars run on diesel! not going to be increasing soon but the vast percentage of Pickups run on diesel.s that actually do work? bulk of SUVs and Vans. In other words 25% of the Automotive public buy diesel from service stations.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Once again, you blew it on the facts. You always do.

            Fortunately, Australia does seem to have some auto journalists who know what’s going on, so there’s no need to rely upon you and your consistently inaccurate assessments.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Pch101,
            Your replies verge on the totally idiotic. SUV’s do the bulk of towing here, not Pickups so all of them are Diesel.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Robert Ryan’s War on Reality continues, I see.

            Ryan’s World: “People here are not interested in gas Pickups”

            vs.

            Reality: Only 10-15% of new utes and pickups sold in Australia run on diesel

            Reality: 75% of the diesel fuel sold in Australia is wholesaled to industry

            Reality: About 80% of retail diesel sales go to truckies

            Reality combined with pocket calculator: Only about 5% of diesel fuel sold in Australia goes to retail consumers.

            If there’s anything else that you need to know about your country, you be sure to let me know.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @PCH101,
            When the Nurse goes to lunch and you can access to the computer.
            Maybe you can tell me why Nissan/Isuzu/Mazda Mitsubishi have dropped their gas options for Pickups.
            Even in your somewhat dimwitted grey mass that must mean something.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Pch101
            You have now officially been reduced to a level below that of DiM.

            Last year 84% of Hiluxes sold were diesel. 100% BT50s (they only come as diesel). 85% of Ford Rangers sold as diesel. 100% of Izuzu Dmax are diesel.

            Joshua Dowling the author is an anti-diesel crusader. Like I stated find valid and credible data. If you don’t you’ll be a DiM
            eque type personality for eternity.

            Here are some of his anti diesel stories. The guy must be like you a total retard.

            http://www.carsguide.com.au/news-and-reviews/car-news/the_great_diesel_fuel_efficiency_myth

            http://www.carsguide.com.au/news-and-reviews/car-news/why_our_love_for_diesel_cars_is_a_fatal_attraction

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            As I keep trying to show you (obviously, the effort is in vain), Australia suffers the drawbacks of its lack of scale.

            The trucks that you buy are imported, and made largely for other markets, particularly Asia. The Asians are buying diesels, and since you buy so few vehicles (the low population limits your buying power), you’re going to end up having your product lines shaped by their tastes.

            If you had a larger population or a return to substantial import barriers, then it would be worth serving it with specialized vehicles. But you have neither, so you’re not.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            The way I understand that article, it says that 10% of all cars sold in Australia are diesel SUVs and 15% are diesel utes and vans. In other words, the market is 29% diesel (including the 4% diesel car market share). The wording is awkward, so it would be better to rely on primary sources.

            I’m not surprised that most diesel fuel goes to mining, agriculture and transport. Australia is a huge, sparsely populated country/continent. I’m sure one giant mining truck uses more fuel before lunch than most drivers use in a year, and they run 24/7/365. That, however, has nothing to do with the potential market for American diesel pickups. It’s like saying that utilities run natural gas powerplants, therefore Ford shouldn’t offer CNG kits for their vans. No relationship at all, they are two different markets.

          • 0 avatar
            mikey

            BAFO…”Retard”… seriously ????..A lot of folks including myself, find that word offensive.

            C’mon man! show a little class.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @mikey
            A retard is a retard, can’t be much else ;)

        • 0 avatar

          How do you think the full-size Ram with the 3.0l v6 diesel with the 8 speed automatic transmission would sell down there?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Chrysler may give it a shot: http://news.drive.com.au/drive/motor-news/no-jeep-pickup-but-ram-trucks-under-review-20131213-2zcha.html

            The 300 has gained some traction there, which may give them hope that a brash Yank tank might work there.

            In the past, tariffs made importation an issue. The tariffs are lower now, but there is also the high cost of converting US-spec vehicles to right-hand drive — those conversions end up being done as one-offs, and they cost a fortune. If Chrysler is serious about this, then they need to engineer vehicles so that the RHD versions can be built as easily as the standard LHD models.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Pch101,
            Your replies verge on the totally idiotic. SUV’s do the bulk of towing here, not Pickups so all of them are Diesel.
            Isuzu and Nissan have dropped their Petrol options..Gas engines are dying in Pickups.
            http://www.themotorreport.com.au/9315/isuzu-d-max-ute-range-first-drive

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @crazylarry,
            No the 3 Litre RAM would not fly. Payload is virtually non-extant.Yes a a HD 2500/3500 would sell to “Grey Nomads” Very much doubt FAC has any intention of making RHD versions.
            Tariffs were a very small part of of US Pickups not coming here(Not light Duty but 3/4 and 1 ton), it is the fact they are LHD, cost prohibitive to convert.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @PCH101,
            “The Asians are buying diesels, and since you buy so few vehicles (the low population limits your buying power), you’re going to end up having your product lines shaped by their tastes.”

            Nothing to do with it. Asians are not buying Coupe Utilities. Asian Pickups only came to prominence for mainly two reasons: They are cheaper, they have become (almost) as civilized as the Coupe utilities.

            “The trucks that you buy are imported, and made largely for other markets,”
            No that is not true either.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Heavy Handle,
            “That, however, has nothing to do with the potential market for American diesel pickups”

            Which is limited to Grey Nomads and someone towing a small Horse float.
            They are not work vehicles here, more leisure vehicles 50% are sold just to occasionally drive.

            Cultural and practical thing that can be seen similarly in the US as no Station Wagons,Hatchbacks and COE HDT trucks in the US.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Best selling utes in Australia, 2013:

            Toyota HiLux – 39,931
            -Made in Thailand, not made in Australia

            Mitsubishi Triton – 24,512
            -Made in Thailand, not made in Australia

            Nissan Navara – 24,108
            -Made in Thailand, not made in Australia

            Ford Ranger – 21,752
            -Made in Thailand, not made in Australia

            Holden Colorado – 17,203
            -Made in Thailand, not made in Australia

            You should be noticing two patterns there — they’re imported, and the total volume is small. Not enough volume to justify a wide variety of drivetrain options.

            “‘The trucks that you buy are imported, and made largely for other markets,’ No that is not true either.”

            Apparently, it is true. Once again, you get it wrong.

          • 0 avatar

            @Robert Ryan

            “Cultural and practical thing that can be seen similarly in the US as no Station Wagons,Hatchbacks and COE HDT trucks in the US.”

            You just lost a whole lot of your credibility with that statement.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @PCH101,
            “Best selling utes in Australia, 2013:”
            I know your not totally dimwitted try again and get the right answer.

            Yes you are very wrong..so work out if you can what I mean. Big Al From Oz would certainty know as he would see Australian trucks on a regular basis where he lives.

          • 0 avatar

            @Robert Ryan

            “Cultural and practical thing that can be seen similarly in the US as no Station Wagons,Hatchbacks and COE HDT trucks in the US.”

            You just lost a whole lot of your credibility with that statement.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Pch101
            So, your only argument is the pickups aren’t made in Australia.

            What does that matter? The quality is more than acceptable.

            But, we could have a 25% tax on imported pickups. I think we should call it the Chicken Tax. A unique and original term.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Crazycarlarry
            “You just lost a whole lot of your credibility with that statement.”

            Can I ask what hatchbacks, COE HDT Trucks, Station Wagons are now sold in the US? It is a cultural thing, they are very present everywhere else. US Pickups outside NA are not.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Big Al from Oz,
            It does have some pretty negative connotations for some people. PCH101 says the same thing in a more politically correct way, so do I.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Pch101
            Do you know what the second largest pickup market in the world is? I bet you don’t and it isn’t Mexico or Canada.

            It’s Thailand. That’s why many of our pickups come from there.

            But, they don’t only come from there. They come from many nations, globally.

            Oh,so how many of those ‘Thai’ Navara’s came from Spain ;) I bet you didn’t realise that.

            So how many Nissan and Toyota utes do we get from Japan?

            How many Amaroks from Argentina?

            How many pickups do we get from Korea? or China? or India?

            How many Defender pickups did we get from the UK or Sth Africa?

            How many grey imports do we get from the US?

            You don’t have a clue.

            So, what percentage of pickups are diesel?

            30%, 50%, 67%, or 78%? Hmmm…….78%

          • 0 avatar

            @robertryan
            “Can I ask what hatchbacks, COE HDT Trucks, Station Wagons are now sold in the US?”

            GM, Ford, FCA, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Subaru, Kia, Hyundai, and others, all sell hatchbacks.

            Kenworth, sells COE trucks.

            Subaru, VW, GM, Ford, Volvo, BMW, Acura, Mercedes Benz, sell wagons, though they might not all call them that.

            I’m not saying that pickups would necessarily be successful, but I do feel that they are very capable vehicles available in a wide array of configurations, they are well suited to a variety of uses in my country, and probably your country too.
            According to the poll at the end of this article a sizable number of people would like to see them on offer.

            http://news.drive.com.au/drive/motor-news/no-jeep-pickup-but-ram-trucks-under-review-20131213-2zcha.html

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @crazycarlarry
            You more or less asked me that question about a market for full size trucks in Australia.

            Read my response to you.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @crazycarlarry
        Back in 1997 Chrysler toyed with importing the Ram here. It dropped that plan quickly. Australia on a few occasions tried to build a full size pickup market. Even the Chev Suburban of 8-10 years ago was a flop. It was poorly constructed and couldn’t compete with the Japanese full size SUVs as it was a very poor off roader.

        We do have a relatively large grey US full size pickup market. But it isn’t a large enough market to warrant the US to manufacture a few thousand RH drive pickups.

        The problem with US full size pickups and SUVs is they aren’t very capable off roaders. In Australia 75% of pickups and SUVs sold are 4×4 (with hi-lo range). Our pastimes are camping, fishing, hunting, surfing, outback touring, etc.

        Also, we want diesel. Even though our diesel is more expensive than gasoline, diesel is the preferred engine of choice in pickups and SUVs.

        The problem now with the grey imports is the new midsizers we are getting are as capable as most any half ton pickup in the US. So grey imports will drop.

        If you want a large pickup in Australia we do have the Nissan Patrol pickup and the V8 diesel Landcruiser pickup. The Landcruiser and Patrol are about the size of the T100. These are a more dedicated off road vehicles. But now the midsizers are challenging them off road and towing and are luxurious in comparison.

        Any US full size used in Australia are toy haulers, very, very few are ever used for work.

        If you wanted a performance pickup, well, even in the US you wouldn’t get a ute/pickup to come close to a Maloo ute or a FPV ute. But it’s days are numbered. The new 4×4 midsizers are more economical and versatile.

        • 0 avatar

          Thanks for the reply.
          The reason I ask is that while I was in NZ over the holidays I noticed a lot of “grey market” full-size trucks on the roads. That and knowing that most new vehicle platforms (especially Chrysler, oops FCA) are designed for left, or right hand drive from the onset, I wondered if a manufacturer would fill the niche.

          I do question your statement “The problem with US full size pickups and SUVs is they aren’t very capable off roaders” The Ford SuperDuty is very capable off road, and one tough truck, and the Ram or GM offerings are not to shabby when properly set up.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Crazycarlarry
            “I wondered if a manufacturer would fill the niche.”

            Really never have. They are selling Global Diesel Pickups instead.

            The Ford Super Duty is limited Off Road compared to the diesel SUV’s but is the best US Pickup for Off Road Caravans.
            http://www.bushtrackerownersforum.com/forum/userpix/5_F350_and_van_02_3.jpg

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @crazycarlarry
            HDs are to large to be considered good off roading. They would work fine on tracks, but not off roading.

            Their width and length restricts much of their capabilty.

            They have poor ramp over and approach and departure angles.

            They are used mainly for 5th wheel applications.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @crazycarlarry,
            I think Big Al from Oz is closer to the mark on why they are not on sale. They have a lot of Grey Imports in NZ, although not vast imports of US Pickups, Japanese yes.

            The only driver of US Pickups(3/4 ton, 1 ton) in Australia is the Caravan industry. They want heavier and more powerful TV’s for their Caravans. On the other hand the Industry wants lighter models.

            As far as Internet surveys? Leave it to the fanboys. GM/Ford/FCA/Toyota know there is not a market and have left it as that.
            i.e There are no HDT COE’s in the US. The Kenworth is a revamped DAF MDT LCF for garbage collection., Box Truck etc.
            http://www.kenworth.com/trucks/k370.aspx

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    That car is hilariously badly Photoshopped into the photo. Is the paint matte? Is it metallic? Where exactly is the sun shining to hit all those different areas? Must be 7:30 AM/PM all at once. Fake glare on the camera indicates the sun is coming up in front of the car, as well as the mirror shadow. The shadow under the car indicates it’s high noon. Must be afternoon as well because the back is lit up brighter than the rest.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      Hee hee.. it’s a travesty alright. Good eye. Yeah, the photog would have to be carrying 4 studio floods as fill-flash for that to be a real outdoor shot.

      Haven’t encountered an intelligent critique of lighting in decades, but then I left photo circles ages ago. Refreshing.

  • avatar
    VCplayer

    I feel like we need a good editorial send-up for GM’s entire European strategy since 2009. The “will they won’t they” with Opel, the Manchester United adventure, the PSA team-up that wasn’t a team-up and then went no where, the invasion and retreat of Chevy, etc. Europe was going to be a money pit regardless, but it’s like GM went about throwing as much money as possible at it.

    If we need proof that Old Gm still exists, there you have it.


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