The Truth About Cars » Holden http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Mon, 06 Jul 2015 20:00:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars » Holden http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com While You Were Sleeping: Cadillac ATS-V+, Holden Monza and Lamborghini Urus Receives Greenlight http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/while-you-were-sleeping-cadillac-ats-v-holden-monza-and-lamborghini-urus-receives-greenlight/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/while-you-were-sleeping-cadillac-ats-v-holden-monza-and-lamborghini-urus-receives-greenlight/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 12:01:06 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1075738 This edition of While You Were Sleeping offers up a bit more than usual. Instead of just overnight, we are going to try to cover as many topics from over the long weekend as possible with additional commentary. Here we go! Cadillac ATS-V+ to Feature LS7 V-8 Power (Motor Trend) According to MT, Cadillac will stuff […]

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Cadillac ATS-V

This edition of While You Were Sleeping offers up a bit more than usual. Instead of just overnight, we are going to try to cover as many topics from over the long weekend as possible with additional commentary.

Here we go!

Cadillac ATS-VCadillac ATS-V+ to Feature LS7 V-8 Power (Motor Trend)
According to MT, Cadillac will stuff the 7.0L LS7 from the Camaro Z/28 between the front fenders of a forthcoming ATS-V+. If true, the new model would be lighter and more powerful than the 3.6L TT V6 ATS-V. Also, I can’t think of another single vehicle on sale that would have engines spanning from 2.0 to 7.0 liters in displacement. Crazy.

Opel-Monza-Concept-17Exclusive: GM locks in Monza name for Australia (GoAuto)
The Monza could make a comeback as Holden applies for a trademark on the name in Australia. The Opel Monza concept made its debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show.

stevens-creek-bmw-i-center-santa-clara-california-may-2015-opening_100511566_hFirst Standalone BMW Electric-Car Sales Facility Opens–In CA, Of Course (GreenCarReports)
California is the place to be if you are into electric cars. Now there’s a BMW dealership that’s converted its used vehicle showroom and service facility into an electric vehicle showcase, becoming the first full-service BMW i facility in the United States.

BYDBuffett-backed Chinese automaker BYD plans up to $1.9 billion placement (Reuters)
Chinese auto and battery maker BYD is looking to raise a lot of money. Stock trading had been halted as a stock offering is being put together and nobody from the company is talking on the record. Either the company needs cash to stay afloat or they’re looking to spend some coin on future product.

2014 Lamborghini Urus ConceptLamborghini Said to Agree to Produce New SUV in Italy
The new Lamborghini SUV has received the greenlight according to a report from Bloomberg. The decision was made after a tax break deal between Lamborghini and the Italian government was agreed. An official announcement is expected to be made tomorrow. Lamborghini could hire up to 500 additional workers to build the new model. The Urus will help Lamborghini attain its goal of doubling sales.

Chevrolet Cobalt SedanLaw expert: Feds may push GM guilty plea (The Detroit News)
In the past, the Justice Department has allowed corporations to pay massive fines in place of a guilty pleas for indiscretions and foul deeds. General Motors might not get that option due to delays in recalling faulty ignition switches.

More to come throughout the day as we get caught up.

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Can It Really Be True? Chevrolet SS Sales Increased In April 2015 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/can-really-true-chevrolet-ss-sales-increased-april-2015/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/can-really-true-chevrolet-ss-sales-increased-april-2015/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 12:00:22 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1073026 General Motors sold more Chevrolet SS sedans in April 2015 than they did in April 2014. Albeit only 16 more, to be precise. 5.7% more. Yet not in any of the previous five months in which the SS could produce a year-over-year increase did it manage to do so. (October 2014 sales jumped 11,400% from […]

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2015 Chevrolet SS

General Motors sold more Chevrolet SS sedans in April 2015 than they did in April 2014.

Albeit only 16 more, to be precise. 5.7% more.

Yet not in any of the previous five months in which the SS could produce a year-over-year increase did it manage to do so. (October 2014 sales jumped 11,400% from one reported sale in October 2013 to 115.)

Moreover, the SS’s April 2015 sales total was the second-highest level ever for the Aussie-built sedan.

Are we finally seeing an SS recovery, or is this just a blip on the Dodge Charger SRT’s radar?

After SS volume tumbled to just 313 units in the fourth-quarter of 2014, a 25% year-over-year drop and a 64% decline compared with the SS’s strongest quarter from early 2014, sales have now increased in four consecutive periods on a month-to-month basis.

From just 93 sales in December 2014, monthly SS volume has climbed to 115, 215, 264, and 299 units in the following four months. Year-over-year, of course, first-quarter sales in 2015 slid 31%. But the signs of momentum, however slight and inconsequential, are still present.

2015 Chevrolet SS front

If General Motors was able to sustain this level of volume, Chevrolet would be selling 3,600 SSs in America each year. But after the SS was selling at its best level so far – during the first-half of 2014 – GM proved unable to sustain interest. Inventory ballooned, and with little marketing support and outrageous Hellcats from Dodge stealing thunder, SS sales in the second-half of 2014 were less than half what they were in the first-half.

Keep in mind, based on first-half figures, Chevrolet was on pace to sell more than 3,000 SSs in America last year; not a lot, but a lot more than the 2,479 they ended up selling.

If a lack of manual availability was blamed for part of the decline last year, did the arrival of a manual transmission provide this April 2015 boost? It seems doubtful. Even if we account for the notion that the manual-trans SS sedans may be moving faster or are simply being handed directly into owners’ hands, the fact that Cars.com shows only 1% of current inventory being made up by DIY shifters is telling.

As for the SS’s position in the sales rundown, in April it was still outsold by uncommon vehicles like the Smart Fortwo, BMW i3, Audi A8, Volvo V60 Cross Country, Porsche Boxster, and the Mini Cooper Convertible. The SS accounts for 0.35% of Chevrolet car volume this year, just 0.13% of total Chevrolet volume, and only 0.09% of the new GM vehicles sold.

Rarity isn’t a death knell. You don’t expect to see Mercedes-AMG GT coupes scattered about your local Wal-Mart parking lot or Jaguar F-Types lined up outside elementary schools in the suburbs. But oddly, GM hasn’t really used the SS as a marketing tool to elevate the image of the Chevrolet brand. And why would they? They have the Chevrolet Corvette to fill that role.

They sold nearly 3,500 of those in April alone.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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While You Were Sleeping: Toyota Fortuner SUV for Oz, More Airbag Recalls and Stowaways Hide in Maseratis http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/while-you-were-sleeping-toyota-fortuner-suv-for-oz-more-airbag-recalls-and-stowaways-hide-in-maseratis/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/while-you-were-sleeping-toyota-fortuner-suv-for-oz-more-airbag-recalls-and-stowaways-hide-in-maseratis/#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 11:01:26 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1072562 In addition to the go-anywhere Toyota HiLux, it looks like Australia will get a Fortuner reprise. Here’s what happened overnight. Confirmed: Toyota Fortuner SUV is go for Australia (GoAuto) “We haven’t secured or announced anything, but it’s going to come.” Toyota Tundra subject of “enormous” Australian demand (CarAdvice) Aussies want bigger trucks. Mazda, Subaru, Mitsubishi […]

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2016 Toyota Fortuner Brochure Leak

In addition to the go-anywhere Toyota HiLux, it looks like Australia will get a Fortuner reprise.

Here’s what happened overnight.

Favorite Picture or Random Thing from Yesterday:

Garage

Posted on Hooniverse in Last Call: Blueprint for Success Edition. [Source: Go Away Garage]

 

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While You Were Sleeping: Project CARS Tomorrow, Off-Road Lowrider and the Last Commodore is Almost Here http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/sleeping-project-cars-tomorrow-off-road-lowrider-last-commodore-almost/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/sleeping-project-cars-tomorrow-off-road-lowrider-last-commodore-almost/#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 11:44:07 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1061994 Almost everything interesting from overnight happened in Australia. So lets talk about video games instead. ‘Project Cars’ will finally come out on May 6th, we hope (Engadget) Yes – this article is old. But, it’s what’s inside that counts. Project CARS is supposed to be released tomorrow for PC. Should I give all the writers a holiday? […]

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Project CARS

Almost everything interesting from overnight happened in Australia. So lets talk about video games instead.

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QOTD: Is It Time for Lefty Countries to Drive on the Right Side of the Road? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/qotd-time-lefty-countries-drive-right-side-road/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/qotd-time-lefty-countries-drive-right-side-road/#comments Mon, 27 Apr 2015 11:00:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1055017 After only selling close to 250 Volts in Australia since its introduction in 2012, the decision was made to not import the second-generation extended range electric vehicle, even though it features less-quirky styling and an improved electric drivetrain. But, if Australia was a left-hand drive country, would this be an issue? Thanks to laws in Australia prohibiting […]

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Brooker Hwy 25, Australia

After only selling close to 250 Volts in Australia since its introduction in 2012, the decision was made to not import the second-generation extended range electric vehicle, even though it features less-quirky styling and an improved electric drivetrain.

But, if Australia was a left-hand drive country, would this be an issue?

Thanks to laws in Australia prohibiting the sale of left-hand drive vehicles, should an automaker want to sell a vehicle Down Under, it must be converted to right-hand drive. For a number of vehicles, due to packaging constraints, this is not feasible from an engineering perspective. More often than not, while it might be technically doable, it just isn’t financially prudent – as is the case with the newly-cancelled Holden Volt.

Countries driving on the left or right

Folks, its 2015 and we still live in a world where, depending on what country you live in, you drive on one side of the road or the other. Isn’t it time for this to change?

It would certainly make it a lot easier for automakers to develop, engineer, and sell global models. It would make roadways safer (every year there’s always at least one tourist here driving on the wrong side of the road, usually around a roundabout). Australians could get all the Volts and F-150s they want. We could have saved the Australian ute. Everyone could have been happy.

What do you think, B&B? Is it time to ditch right-hand drive?

[Image source: Wiki ian (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons/Benjamin D. Esham [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]

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While You Were Sleeping: No Holden Volt, Super Troopers 2, and Meeke Gets a Win http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/sleeping-no-holden-volt-super-troopers-2-meeke-gets-win/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/sleeping-no-holden-volt-super-troopers-2-meeke-gets-win/#comments Mon, 27 Apr 2015 10:03:52 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1054985 The second-generation Chevrolet Volt won’t go on sale in Australia as GM will not convert it to right-hand drive. The Holden Volt is dead (CarAdvice) It appears a Holden version of the second-generation Volt will not come to fruition as General Motors has decided not to build the car in right-hand drive. Bolt still on the table. […]

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Mary Barra and Chevrolet Volt at NAIAS 2015

The second-generation Chevrolet Volt won’t go on sale in Australia as GM will not convert it to right-hand drive.

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Not Aussiely Influenced: Big Chevrolet Sedans Struggle All The More In January 2015 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/not-aussiely-influenced-big-chevrolet-sedans-struggle-january-2015/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/not-aussiely-influenced-big-chevrolet-sedans-struggle-january-2015/#comments Tue, 17 Feb 2015 13:22:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1002890 In September, we told you the Chevrolet SS didn’t sell as often as the dreadfully unpopular Cadillac ELR in August, the first time the SS failed to do so during the period of coexistence. They tied in September before the ELR outsold the SS again in each of the following months. In December, we told you […]

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2015 Chevrolet SS rear redIn September, we told you the Chevrolet SS didn’t sell as often as the dreadfully unpopular Cadillac ELR in August, the first time the SS failed to do so during the period of coexistence.

They tied in September before the ELR outsold the SS again in each of the following months.

In December, we told you that Chevrolet SS volume slid to a new low in November. With only 105 sales, the SS was outsold by ultra-rare cars like the BMW i8, Nissan GT-R, Volkswagen e-Golf, and yes, the Cadillac ELR.

Yet during the month of December, SS volume fell to yet another new low. Only 93 were sold, a 61% drop.

Surely this was a darkest-before–the-dawn kind of month, right? Surely with an available manual transmission (which is still not at all readily available, according to Cars.com inventory results) and a 168-day supply of cars overall at the beginning of the new year (according to Automotive News) the SS was about to shoot through the roof, matching or exceeding its peak of 350 sales in March of last year? Or at least the 232 SS sedans sold in January of last year?

No. Not quite. GM reported 115 SS sales in January 2015, a 50% cut compared with January 2014 results.

GM sales chart G8 SS Caprice CamaroOver the last six months, Chevrolet only sold 691 SSs in the United States, down 59% from 1671 over the course of the previous six months. Year-over-year comparisons are only valid in the last three months, but during that period, SS volume has tumbled 52%.

2015 Chevrolet Caprice PPVPut it this way, agencies responsible for purchasing big Chevy sedans are far more keen on the Caprice PPV than consumers are on the SS. 1762 Caprices were sold in the last six months.

Granted, year-over-year volume slid 19% to 700 units over the last three months. With just 124 sales last month, January was the lowest-volume Caprice sales month since March 2012. Ford sold 2041 Explorer Police Interceptors and 678 Taurus Police Interceptors in January.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

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The Future Of The Holden Commodore, In One Image http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/future-holden-commodore-one-image/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/future-holden-commodore-one-image/#comments Tue, 10 Feb 2015 18:58:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=996066 You might be thinking that in a fit of absent-mindedness, I’ve mistakenly put a photo of a Opel Insignia or Buick Regal as the main image – and technically, you’re right. But the car above, though it’s difficult to see, is actually wearing a Holden badge. As Just-Auto reports, the very first Holden Insignia VXR has just […]

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opel-insignia-holden-293406

You might be thinking that in a fit of absent-mindedness, I’ve mistakenly put a photo of a Opel Insignia or Buick Regal as the main image – and technically, you’re right. But the car above, though it’s difficult to see, is actually wearing a Holden badge.

As Just-Auto reports, the very first Holden Insignia VXR has just been built at Opel’s factory in Germany. Although the Insignia VXR is intended to be a low volume model for now, it won’t last long.

The next Commodore will be based on a front-drive GM platform, almost certainly the Epsilon II architecture that underpins the Insignia and other D-segment GM offerings. The rear-drive layout, along with the V8 engine, will be jettisoned for transverse 4 and 6 cylinder engines. Meanwhile, other Opel products will trickle into Holden’s lineup, along with products from GM Daewoo and other global divisions, as part of Holden’s transition into a “sales and marketing” company, rather than a producer of domestic automobiles.

Sad as it may be for the enthusiast, mourning the loss of the rear-drive Commodore is like crying over spilled milk. Sales of the Commodore are nowhere near their peak levels, and Australia is moving away from large sedans into SUVs, pickups, crossovers and smaller, more fuel-efficient compact cars. Where the Commodore and Falcon once reigned, the Toyota Corolla and Mazda3 have taken their place.

On the other hand, we’ll be lucky to get a Commodore that isn’t made in China.

 

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Holden Retaining Name For Next-Gen FWD Sedan http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/holde-retaining-commodore-name-next-gen-fwd-sedan/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/holde-retaining-commodore-name-next-gen-fwd-sedan/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 15:02:20 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=985650 Holden will retain the Commodore nameplate for its next-generation large sedan, even though the new “Commodore” will bear no resemblance to the large, rear-drive car currently sold in Australia. Just-Auto is reporting that the new Commodore will be a front-drive vehicle based on the next generation Opel Insignia/Buick Regal. While Holden previously stated that the […]

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holden_astra_vxr_insignia_vxr_cascada_4_s

Holden will retain the Commodore nameplate for its next-generation large sedan, even though the new “Commodore” will bear no resemblance to the large, rear-drive car currently sold in Australia.

Just-Auto is reporting that the new Commodore will be a front-drive vehicle based on the next generation Opel Insignia/Buick Regal. While Holden previously stated that the new Commodore would be built in Australia, the end of Holden’s manufacturing operations has now made it necessary to import it from another location. 

Some reports have suggested that China may be the location of the Commodore’s assembly. According to previous reports, the new, Chinese-made Commodore would have a standard 4-cylinder engine, with an optional V6. Though it would be close in size to the current car, it would look more European, with coupe-like styling rather than the current car’s brawny, slab-sided proportions. Holden is currently importing the Insignia VXR as a high-performance model, and perhaps as a test case for a future Commodore.

 

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Holden’s Loss Is Ford’s Gain http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/holdens-loss-fords-gain/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/holdens-loss-fords-gain/#comments Mon, 08 Dec 2014 21:26:38 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=956962 With Holden set to lay off hundreds of engineers as it shuts the doors of its Australian factories, Ford is looking to grow its ranks. The Blue Oval is set to hire 150 ex-Holden engineers to help develop cars for the Chinese market. The Daily Telegraph is reporting that Ford will grow its vehicle development […]

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ford-escort-china-1-550x357

With Holden set to lay off hundreds of engineers as it shuts the doors of its Australian factories, Ford is looking to grow its ranks. The Blue Oval is set to hire 150 ex-Holden engineers to help develop cars for the Chinese market.

The Daily Telegraph is reporting that Ford will grow its vehicle development headcount from 1050 to 1200 employees. By contrast, Holden will retain roughly 10 times fewer engineers when they end Australian production in 2017.

While Ford is also closing its Australian plants in 2016, Australian will serve as a regional hub for vehicle development. Holden’s engineers have experience working with small cars built in Korea by GM Daewoo, as well as premium large cars like the Falcon and Territory. The broad range of experience will serve Ford well, as it looks to adapt everything from compacts like the China-only Ford Escort to an all-new range of Lincoln products.

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Dorizas Leaves Holden, General Motors To Pursue New Ventures http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/dorizas-leaves-holden-general-motors-pursue-new-ventures/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/dorizas-leaves-holden-general-motors-pursue-new-ventures/#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 11:00:35 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=938145 Another bell tolls as Holden draws closer to the end of local production in 2017, this time for brand boss Gerry Dorizas, who resigned after serving just eight months in the position. Motoring.com.au reports Dorizas was the fifth Holden head in four years, taking up where Mike Devereaux — who helmed the General Motors subsidiary […]

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Another bell tolls as Holden draws closer to the end of local production in 2017, this time for brand boss Gerry Dorizas, who resigned after serving just eight months in the position.

Motoring.com.au reports Dorizas was the fifth Holden head in four years, taking up where Mike Devereaux — who helmed the General Motors subsidiary from 2010 to 2013 — left off. Current COO Jeff Rolfs will fill the void until a new chief is found.

Dorizas, who proclaimed Holden would retake the top of the podium by 2020, has also left GM altogether “to pursue other opportunities.” Brand communications manager Sean Poppitt did not offer an explanation for the departure, but affirmed it would not change the brand’s goals and strategy.

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TTAC AMA: I Own A Pontiac G8 With A Holden Commodore Conversion http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/ttac-ama-pontiac-g8-holden-commodore-conversion/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/ttac-ama-pontiac-g8-holden-commodore-conversion/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 20:00:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=933386 This week’s AMA comes courtesy of reader APaGttH, who has a Pontiac G8 GT that has been converted into a Holden Commodore replica. Read on below to hear the story. Seeing the handwriting on the wall for Pontiac, and after my one week experience with a 2008 V6 rental, I purchased my Pontiac G8 GT in […]

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Pontiac G8 GT current state
This week’s AMA comes courtesy of reader APaGttH, who has a Pontiac G8 GT that has been converted into a Holden Commodore replica. Read on below to hear the story.

Seeing the handwriting on the wall for Pontiac, and after my one week experience with a 2008 V6 rental, I purchased my Pontiac G8 GT in May of 2009. This is an early production 2009 GT, called a 9L1 car in G8 owner lingo, built in June of 2008. The car is White Hot (or Heron White if you’re not from North America) with the premium package, sport package, and sunroof. Just 60 days after purchase, the car got shelled by a gravel truck causing over $2000 in paint, headlamp and glass damage. It was only by coincidence and blind luck that the restomod work done produced a “2010” Holden Commodore SS V-Series Special Edition. The additional modifications, and eliminating a number of GM bean counter decisions continued from there. I have drag raced, auto crossed, and lapped in the G8 and found it a very competent platform, outside of being under braked. I pulled a 13.354 quarter mile at 105.85 MPH using a Cortex tuner only on stock rubber in very damp, cold conditions at Bremerton Motorsports Park in 2009. Currently I have 34K miles and although not my retirement plan, I have no intentions of selling the garage queen. Ask your questions!
Pontiac G8 GT at Uluaru 3 Pontiac G8 GT at Ulurau 2 Pontiac G8 GT at Ulurau Pontiac G8 GT brand new and before any modifications - June 2009 Pontiac G8 GT center stack with Holden triple gauges Pontiac G8 GT current state Pontiac G8 GT engine bay plaque in kW and Nm Pontiac G8 GT Holden SS dash cluster Pontiac G8 GT Infotainment screen modified to support Vehicle In Motion showing MP3 integration Pontiac G8 GT rear with Australian license plate Pontiac G8 GT with Holden converted interior LHD
 

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AMA About My Isuzu Impulse Ownership Experience http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/ama-isuzu-impulse-ownership-experience/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/ama-isuzu-impulse-ownership-experience/#comments Fri, 03 Oct 2014 16:00:29 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=925561 My first car was rarer than a Ferrari. Honest. Back in 1990, upon turning 16, I bought a 1984 Isuzu Impulse Special Edition. It was exactly like the car pictured above. Yes, it had gold rims. Isuzu sold only 3,000 Special Edition Impulses in 1984. Hence, the rarity. Truth be told, when I bought the […]

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My first car was rarer than a Ferrari. Honest.

Back in 1990, upon turning 16, I bought a 1984 Isuzu Impulse Special Edition. It was exactly like the car pictured above. Yes, it had gold rims. Isuzu sold only 3,000 Special Edition Impulses in 1984. Hence, the rarity.

Truth be told, when I bought the Impulse, I thought it was fugly. I particularly didn’t like the rear end. My dream cars back then were the 1967 Camaro, 1978 Firebird, and the new Camaro RS. But my mom forbade me from buying a dangerous and obnoxious V8. So I ended up with the Impulse. Make the jump to find out more about my Impulse and ask me anything about my ownership experience.

The 1984 was an early model. A turbocharger was not available, so my engine barely had 90 horsepower. And forget about “Handling By Lotus”, which was still a few years away from becoming reality.

Nevertheless, it was still fun to drive. It was rear wheel drive and relatively lightweight. It came with power everything, and even an aftermarket sunroof. The instrument cluster pods were wacky squared.

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Plus, a stock graphics equalizer!

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What questions do you have?

Click here to view the embedded video.

For a great read, I highly recommend In Search of the Holden Piazza. It’s about two friends who drive all over Australia looking for the few remaining Holden Piazzas (what Isuzu Impulses were called there) left in the country.

Photo credit: Interior shots from eBay ad featured in Bring a Trailer. More interior shots from that car can be found on my blog.

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2015 HSV GTS Maloo Ute Officially Unveiled http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/2015-hsv-gts-maloo-ute-officially-unveiled/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/2015-hsv-gts-maloo-ute-officially-unveiled/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 11:00:40 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=913090 Last month, Holden Special Vehicles announced plans for the most brutal ute to ever be assembled as a send-off to the Holden Commodore Ute before all local production draws to a close in 2017. This is that ute: The 2015 HSV GTS Maloo. The limited edition ute pulls from the same parts bin used to […]

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Last month, Holden Special Vehicles announced plans for the most brutal ute to ever be assembled as a send-off to the Holden Commodore Ute before all local production draws to a close in 2017.

This is that ute: The 2015 HSV GTS Maloo.

The limited edition ute pulls from the same parts bin used to create the equally limited and powerful GTS Sedan, based upon the Commodore sedan. This includes the 6.2-liter supercharged LSA V8 — capable of dropping 577 horsepower and a near-equal 546 lb-ft of tree-removing torque out behind the bed — lightweight six-piston calipers mounted to 15- and 14-inch two-piece rotors, and torque vectoring. Power will be directed to the rear 20-inch wheels through a TR6060 (MG9 spec) six-speed twin-clutch manual or optional 6L90E six-speed auto.

At the ready inside, the owner can adjust the GTS Maloo’s electronic stability, torque vectoring, launch control and more through the HSV Driver Preference Dial, while HUD, lane-departure and performance systems provide the driver with the data and safety they might need.

Two colors — a bronze/red and an iridescent olive green — and two leather trims — dubbed Onyx and Red Hot, respectively — round out the looks in addition to the GTS’s aggressive face.

Only 250 will be built — 10 of which are heading over to nearby New Zealand — with production and availability due by November of this year. Price of admission will likely be around $79,000 USD.

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HSV Unveils Its Last, Fastest-Ever Ute http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/hsv-unveils-last-fastest-ever-v8-interceptor-ute/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/hsv-unveils-last-fastest-ever-v8-interceptor-ute/#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 12:00:43 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=889305 As a parting gift to the world, Holden is set to built what should be the fastest Ute ever produced, borrowing the LSA V8 from the HSV GTS sedan. Carsguide.com.au reports the ute will receive its power from the 6.2-liter supercharged V8 powering the HSV GTS Sedan, capable of delivering 577 horsepower and 546 ft-lb […]

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As a parting gift to the world, Holden is set to built what should be the fastest Ute ever produced, borrowing the LSA V8 from the HSV GTS sedan.

Carsguide.com.au reports the ute will receive its power from the 6.2-liter supercharged V8 powering the HSV GTS Sedan, capable of delivering 577 horsepower and 546 ft-lb of torque to the back through either a manual or automatic with flappy paddles. Other pieces from the sedan, including a stronger differential and additional engine/transmission cooling systems, will likely make it to the ute.

Suspension and handling, meanwhile, will be retuned pieces from the HSV Maloo over the magnetic-controlled setup found in the GTS Sedan, just in case the lucky owner wanted to haul between 473 kg and 487 kg (1,043 lbs – 1,074 lbs) of hay, depending on transmission chosen.

And we do mean lucky: Only 150 HSV GTS Utes will be assembled, with potential owners paying $85,000 ($79,000 USD) for the honor of driving the fastest ute in the world when it arrives in showrooms at the end of 2014. Though speed is limited to 250 kph (155 mph), the sedan was able to hit 280 kph (174 mph) once the speed limiter was removed.

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Capsule Review: 2013 Holden Commodore Ute http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/capsule-review-2013-holden-commodore-ute/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/capsule-review-2013-holden-commodore-ute/#comments Thu, 03 Jul 2014 12:00:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=853353   Luke Vandezande, Managing Editor of AutoGuide.com, submits his review of the Holden Ute. What if I told you that there’s a parallel universe where Europeans love muscle cars, have their own country music artists and care less for political correctness than Howard Stern in his heyday. Welcome to Australia. Holden is a subsidiary of […]

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Luke Vandezande, Managing Editor of AutoGuide.com, submits his review of the Holden Ute.

What if I told you that there’s a parallel universe where Europeans love muscle cars, have their own country music artists and care less for political correctness than Howard Stern in his heyday. Welcome to Australia.

Holden is a subsidiary of General Motors that develops, builds and sells cars for the island. Much the same as the fierce yet faded loyalty to old Detroit iron is found among Michiganders, Aussies harbor a passion for Holden as a beacon of the country’s once-glorious auto industry.

Now, most of Holden’s products are re-badged global products. For example, there’s a version of the Spark sub-compact and Colorado mid-size pickup truck bearing the lionized badge.

Genuine Aussie cars are failing to stack up against cheaper imported products. The Holden Commodore is one of the last legitimately domestic vehicles down under and it’s sold in several variations. There’s a sedan, wagon and most notably the uniquely Australian “Ute.” It’s a modern day version of the Chevrolet El Camino, muscle car status and all.

It also might be one of the most heavily hyped obscurities among automotive enthusiasts. It has all the right stuff: an available 6.0-liter V8 powering the rear wheels, a manual transmission and looks mean enough to curdle milk. With virtually no weight over the rear end, breaking the tail loose is easier than slipping back into smoking cigarettes.

Having spent over 30 hours travelling (including layovers), I couldn’t help but wonder if I was in for a disappointment. To a certain extent, I already knew things wouldn’t be as sweet as I had originally planned. The range-topping SS-V Redline model was booked by other members of the media until long after my planned departure. So instead I borrowed the SV6 model with an automatic transmission.

It seemed the sort of hooliganism I had been dreaming of for so long would have to remain a fantasy. Still, it will be a cold day in hell when I forget exactly how fortunate I am to be in the position to borrow cars in the first place. Color me grateful for the chance to drive one at all.

I set about familiarizing myself with the car by spending two hours bombing through the winding roads west of Adelaide. The 3.6-liter V6 and automatic does not disappoint. It makes about 280 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque (converted from metric figures advertised there). It’s still worth noting that the stick is a better choice for more than the fun it offers. The SV6 is Holden’s entry-level sport Ute and as such it comes with a suspension better tuned for sporty driving than you’d expect. Manual models also come with a limited slip differential, but the automatic doesn’t.

I wasn’t in a position to drive anywhere near the point at which that sort of equipment would yield dividends, but it’s hard to ignore nonetheless. Consequently, I can’t speak to its merits. I can tell you how the slushbox V6 drives: surprisingly well.

Throttle tip in feels natural and linear. A light foot delivers moderate power while speed builds progressively when pressing the pedal further toward the floor. It allows driving for fuel economy to be easy without sacrificing any of the spirit that makes the Ute so much fun.

Electrically boosted steering essentially mutes feedback from the road, but the act of actually turning the tiller still feels responsive.

The SV6 model also comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, blind spot monitoring, reverse traffic alert, sport seats trimmed in either faux suede or leather and a soft tonneau cover. A rear-view camera, parking sensors, hill start assistance, six airbags, trail sway control, dual-zone climate control and a remote starter (auto only) are also all included in the standard equipment list across the model range.

The blind spot monitoring and parking assistance are both welcome features in the low-slung vehicle with challenging sightlines. Large a-pillars can make it tough to see through tight corners and looking for oncoming cars while waiting to turn is equally tough. At least the rear-view camera and radar sensors both make navigating tight spaces easy.

Of course, it isn’t a full-fledged truck and its ability to serve in that capacity is limited. It has almost no ground clearance and a payload capacity well under one ton, meaning any legitimate pickup truck will beat it on a job site with one proverbial hand tied.

In an effort to test how the pseudo-truck drives with a heavy load, I put approximately 525 lbs worth of beer and wine into the bed. Yes, Australians love to drink. No, this wasn’t a normal Thursday. I was helping a friend prepare for his wedding the next day. Impressively, the car’s trip computer reported 9.1 liters per 100 kilometers in fuel consumption (25.8 mpg), including cargo that would make Bo and Luke Duke blush.

Even with the multi-link rear suspension squatting under such a heavy burden, passing tractor-trailers on the highway presented little difficulty. Everything about driving it feels understandably more sluggish when loaded up, but performance remains admirably intact. Six cylinders are enough; the other two are like Vegemite on toast. It’s a lot of extra flavor, but you might not want it every day.

The two-seat trucklet is pretty tight on cabin storage space depending on driver and passenger height. You’ll have some storage to speak of with the seats slid back for maximum legroom, but it’s sparse.

Even halfway around the world, General Motors’ penchant for “frugal” interior materials is alive and well. That’s probably not enough to scare off patriotic purchasers, but the widely-used hard plastics are a weak point. Cheesy checker-pattern faux carbon fiber accents don’t help though the light blue accent lighting in the interior door latches is a nice touch.

With power adjustable lumbar support for the driver and well-bolstered sides, it might be a bit of a tight ride but at least its comfortable. You’ll feel bumps and imperfections, but it’s a pleasant place to be; even over dirt roads littered with little ridges from rainwater.

With a relatively low entry-level price and the potential for hair-raising hoonage, it’s hard not to agree with the Holden Ute’s generally positive reputation. Despite that, it’s a far-fetched option as a primary vehicle. On the other hand, it would make a hell of a supplemental choice.

And to a certain extent, it’s priced that way. Holden dropped the price of its SV6 Ute by $5,500 (AUD) for a suggested starting tag of $32,990. Strangely enough, that means the base version and uplevel SV6 carry the same MSRP. For some perspective, an SV6 Commodore sedan costs almost $5,000 more.

In an unusual twist, the current VF Commodore is much cheaper than the VE it replaces. In some cases by almost $10,000. Holden’s big rear-drivers are struggling to sell and it’s a damn shame.

GM won’t ever offer what would likely be a new El Camino to the U.S., but if that ever changed it would sure be a tempting alternative for anyone with a taste for muscle cars and a need to haul heaps of junk.

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Crapwagon Outtake: A V8 Wagon From Down Under http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/crapwagon-outtake-a-v8-wagon-from-down-under/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/crapwagon-outtake-a-v8-wagon-from-down-under/#comments Tue, 01 Jul 2014 14:35:22 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=856809   Even though it’s Canada Day today, my fair nation has never managed to build its own local auto industry with any sort of distinct brand. Ok, that’s not entirely accurate. In the 1960’s, GM tried establishing some Canadian brands (like Acadian) that died quickly. We’ve never had anything like Holden. The Commodore gets the […]

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Even though it’s Canada Day today, my fair nation has never managed to build its own local auto industry with any sort of distinct brand.

Ok, that’s not entirely accurate. In the 1960’s, GM tried establishing some Canadian brands (like Acadian) that died quickly. We’ve never had anything like Holden.

The Commodore gets the lion’s share of attention when it comes time to discuss Australian cars, but Tamerlane’s Thoughts posted this interesting creature that will surely stoke the fires of the B&B’s heart.

The Holden Adventra was a Commodore wagon, raised up ala an Audi Allroad. Underneath the skin was the familiar GM small-block V8 and AWD, meant to compete with the delicious Ford Territory and its turbo I6 engines. The Adventra was a massive flop. And Cadillac gave us the CTS wagon instead.

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Could The Holden Brand Die With The Commodore? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/could-the-holden-brand-die-with-the-commodore/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/could-the-holden-brand-die-with-the-commodore/#comments Wed, 25 Jun 2014 18:14:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=852297 The next Holden Commodore will come from GM’s European product portfolio, but it won’t carry the Commodore name either. Aussie outlet Carsguide is reporting that despite pleas from Holden, GM is determined to kill the nameplate, since the new Holden large sedan will be so different from the iconic rear-drive model. According to the outlet, […]

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The next Holden Commodore will come from GM’s European product portfolio, but it won’t carry the Commodore name either.

Aussie outlet Carsguide is reporting that despite pleas from Holden, GM is determined to kill the nameplate, since the new Holden large sedan will be so different from the iconic rear-drive model.

According to the outlet, GM may even mandate a name change to Chevrolet if they feel that Holden has become damaged goods following the shuttering of Australian factories, stating

A Holden insider told News Corp Australia last year the switch to Chevrolet could happen if General Motors believes the Holden brand image has been damaged by the shutdown of its factories.

“There is no emotion in this,” the insider said. “It will all come down to money. If General Motors thinks sales will go down because the Holden brand is on the nose, then they will switch it to Chevrolet.”

Marketing experts say it would cost between $500,000 and $1 million to rebrand each of Holden’s 233 dealerships nationwide, and that General Motors would likely foot half the bill for each showroom, forcing Holden dealers to pick up the rest of the tab or lose the franchise.

One Holden insider revealed that the company has been forced to conduct exhaustive research with Australian car buyers to prove the case to Detroit that the Holden brand is worth saving.

“The amount of money we’ve spent trying to defend the Holden brand to Detroit is ridiculous,” the insider said.

“But when executives from North America come out to Australia, they take photos of Chevrolet badges that people have fitted to their Holden (cars), and use that against us.”

The next Commodore (or large Holden) will reportedly come from GM Europe, rather than China or America as previously thought. Holden’s HSV performance division has been spotted with an Opel Insignia OPC test mule, while Holden will be selling a version of that car, as well as other Opel products, through their dealers.

The Insignia will never be as great as a rear-drive Commodore, but it will not be a bad product for a future marketplace that is ready to shift away from large Australian sedans. The move to kill Holden in Chevrolet is mind-boggling, as Chevrolet’s failed foray in Europe demonstrated loud and clear. In a market with over 60 brands, the smart choice is on anything but killing a beloved brand in favor of an untested, foreign replacement.

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Hot Holdens In The Post-2017 Era: Get Ready For The HSV Insignia http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/hot-holdens-in-the-post-2017-era-get-ready-for-the-hsv-insignia/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/hot-holdens-in-the-post-2017-era-get-ready-for-the-hsv-insignia/#comments Tue, 03 Jun 2014 14:55:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=836265 Come 2017, Holden will cease producing cars in Australia, ending a decades long lineage of big, rear-drive, V8 powered sedans. But their high-performance HSV division is expected to survive the transition, albeit in a very different form. The re-hiring of HSV Chief Engineer John Stoddart is seen as a positive move by the Australian Motor […]

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Come 2017, Holden will cease producing cars in Australia, ending a decades long lineage of big, rear-drive, V8 powered sedans. But their high-performance HSV division is expected to survive the transition, albeit in a very different form.

The re-hiring of HSV Chief Engineer John Stoddart is seen as a positive move by the Australian Motor Press, who took his departure to be a sign of a bleak future for Holden’s performance shop. But as Carsguide rightly points out, there is no V8 slated for the post-Commodore world, and Holden’s next sedans are said to be front-drive models with four and six cylinder engines.

What could be in the cards? Apparently, an Opel Insignia mule with a twin-turbo V6 has been spotted, which would mean something like an Aussie Rules version of the Insginia OPC. I’m still holding out hope for something on the Alpha platform…even if it does come with two fewer cylinders than I’m hoping for.

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GM Moves EV Pack Production In-House, Almost Had A Commodore EV http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/gm-moves-ev-pack-production-in-house-almost-had-a-commodore-ev/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/gm-moves-ev-pack-production-in-house-almost-had-a-commodore-ev/#comments Thu, 15 May 2014 13:00:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=820874 Automotive News reports General Motors will bring production of the Chevrolet Spark EV’s battery pack in-house to its Brownstown Township plant in the Detroit metro area, having already moved the subcompact’s 85-kilowatt electric motors to White Marsh, Md. in 2013. The pack was originally assembled by A123 Systems before Wanxiang Group picked up the torch. […]

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Automotive News reports General Motors will bring production of the Chevrolet Spark EV’s battery pack in-house to its Brownstown Township plant in the Detroit metro area, having already moved the subcompact’s 85-kilowatt electric motors to White Marsh, Md. in 2013. The pack was originally assembled by A123 Systems before Wanxiang Group picked up the torch. No new jobs will be created as a result of the move, spokesman Dave Darovitz stating GM would add jobs “if consumer demand requires it.” The packs for the 2015 Spark EV — whose market will expand to include California and Oregon later this year — will be 86 pounds lighter than the outgoing units, and will have a storage capacity of 19 kilowatts held within 192 lithium ion cells.

Speaking of GM EVs, GoAuto reports the Holden Commodore almost had an EV variant that would have been priced for $10,000 AUD ($9,400 USD) less than the Volt. Only seven pre-production units made it out of the joint venture between Axiflux, EV Engineering, Bosch Australia, Better Place, GE Finance and Air International before Holden announced it would end all local production by 2017. The announcement, along with the collapse and withdrawals among a majority of the project’s partners, led to Axiflux acquiring EV Engineering’s assets. The company plans to focus on industrial applications for the developed technology until the right partner comes along to pick up where the project left off for an automotive joint venture.

The Detroit Press says GM’s board of directors has retained New York-based Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz to give an “independent assessment” of the automaker’s inner workings. An unnamed source familiar with the announcement says the decision “was a good governance practice” aimed to deliver sound advice to GM’s senior management. The firm is the latest third-party to join GM’s cadre of attorneys, including Anton Valukas and Ken Feinberg, as the automaker navigates the legal waters in the wake of the February 2014 ignition switch recall.

Finally, Just-Auto reports GM is planning to expand its Indian operations into a global base of operations for small-car exports to Latin America and beyond. The exports will begin with 2,000 to 2,500 Beats to Chile in October from the automaker’s factory in Talegon, with some 30,000 to 33,000 units to leave annually for Latin America within two years. GM expects Mexico to receive the biggest imports from India, with over 12,000 units shipped annually.

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Holden Gets Rebadged Opels http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/holden-gets-rebadged-opels/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/holden-gets-rebadged-opels/#comments Thu, 01 May 2014 13:31:48 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=813561   Holden may be losing the Commodore, but the brand will gain three new “premium” offerings, suggesting a possible direction for its famed HSV performance shop. Holden-badged versions of the Astra GTC and VXR, Insignia VXR and the Cascada convertible. Just-Auto reports that the Insignia will be a new “fully imported” premium sedan, while the […]

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Holden may be losing the Commodore, but the brand will gain three new “premium” offerings, suggesting a possible direction for its famed HSV performance shop.

Holden-badged versions of the Astra GTC and VXR, Insignia VXR and the Cascada convertible. Just-Auto reports that the Insignia will be a new “fully imported” premium sedan, while the Astra models will target the growing hot hatch segment. Holden expects the Cascada to go up against ragtop entrants from BMW and Audi.

The introduction of the three models suggests a possible future direction for Holden, which will be left without its signature, locally build models like the Commodore. Hotter versions of the rear-drive cars, built by tuning arm HSV, are a big part of Holden’s public image, and the Astra and Insignia could even be future candidates for the HSV treatment.

To some, its heresy to even suggest such a thing. But the three models, which Holden expects to be niche products, are critically acclaimed despite their lack of a V8 and rear-wheel drive. But with rumors of a front-drive Commodore continuing to circulate, a souped-up, front-drive HSV car might be a fixture in the future.

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Analysis: Australia’s Free Trade Deals Are The Final Nail In The Coffin Of Its Auto Industry http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/analysis-australias-free-trade-deals-are-the-final-nail-in-the-coffin-of-its-auto-industry/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/analysis-australias-free-trade-deals-are-the-final-nail-in-the-coffin-of-its-auto-industry/#comments Tue, 08 Apr 2014 15:35:19 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=790321 In the span of 24 hours, Australia inked two free trade agreements with both Japan and South Korea. Even though Holden, Ford and Toyota had already committed to ending auto manufacturing in Australia, it’s hard not to see the agreements as the last nail in the coffin of Australia’s once strong auto industry. Although North […]

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In the span of 24 hours, Australia inked two free trade agreements with both Japan and South Korea. Even though Holden, Ford and Toyota had already committed to ending auto manufacturing in Australia, it’s hard not to see the agreements as the last nail in the coffin of Australia’s once strong auto industry.

Although North American perception of Australia’s car market is one composed of big, rear-drive V8 sedans and Utes, that image is largely a construct in the minds of enthusiasts. The real picture is a lot less sexy.

Australia’s market is both unique and remarkably mundane. At around 1 million units annually, Australia’s new car market is a mere fraction of the United States – but it’s also far more competitive, with roughly 60 brands competing for a very small pie.

In past decades, the local auto manufacturing industry was heavily protected by tariffs, which encouraged a thriving domestic auto manufacturing industry. Holden and Ford ruled the roost, while Chrysler enjoyed a brief run of localized cars. Later on, companies like Mitsubishi, Nissan and Toyota joined the fray, establishing themselves as the favored Japanese brands.

But in 1983, the Button Plan radically changed the automotive landscape in Australia. The chief goal of the Button Plan was to consolidate the domestic auto industry by halving the number of model produced, while also looking to reduce tariffs and import quotas. The overall goal was to foster a more competitive, export-focused Australian car industry through increased competition.

In the immediate term, a number of badge engineered domestic models appeared in the showrooms of Japanese brands, but none sold particularly well. For a long time, traditional Australia vehicles like large sedans and Utes reigned supreme. But the past decade has seen a major shift in the automotive market, with rapidly changing tastes.

Much like their cousins in the United States, Australia’s traditional vehicles – large sedans and Utes – are facing a two-fronted war, and the outcome has all but been decided.

A report by Ward’s Auto shows that in 2003, large sedans (which ostensibly includes not just the Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon, but also front-drive entrants from Toyota and Mitsubishi) were the most popular cars in Australia, with 26 percent market share. A decade later, that number has fallen to just 7.6 percent.

Small cars and SUVs have overtaken the large car as the most popular segments in Australia. Rising fuel prices, shifting market tastes and a greater selection of small cars have helped propel vehicles like the Holden Cruze, Mazda3, Hyundai i30 to the top of the sales charts – to say nothing of the Toyota Corolla, which was Australia’s best-selling car in 2013.

At the other end of the spectrum, SUVs, crossovers and mid-size pickup trucks have eroded the large sedan’s domain as the family car of choice, with Ward’s reporting that one fifth of buyers are opting for mid-size or large SUVs. The Toyota HiLux was Australia’s best-selling truck in 2013, as sales of mid-size trucks (including Holden’s popular Colorado) helped dampen enthusiasm for Utes.

Beyond the lack of enthusiasm for traditional vehicles, the importance of Australian pedigree is on the wave. As Ward’s reports, the preference for Australian-made vehicles has declined substantially from over a quarter of new buyers in 2003, to roughly one eighth in 2013. Last year marked the first time that the three most popular brands in monthly sales rankings (Toyota, Mazda, Nissan) were all imports.

With a changing climate regarding imported vehicles, the FTAs with both Japan and South Korea will only reduce the cost of vehicles that Australian consumers are already gravitating to. While the FTA with Thailand arguably served as the catalyst for Australia’s major market shift towards Thai-built trucks and certain passenger cars, other factors, like a strong Australian dollar, high manufacturing costs and limited export demand for Australian cars (despite the protestations of enthusiasts across the internet) did their part in bringing about the inevitable end to Australia’s auto industry. The Japanese and South Korean FTAs won’t do any more harm to an industry on death row. But it’s impossible to ignore their symbolism in the wake of the Australian car industry’s annus horribilis.

 

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GM Korea May Increase Exports To Australia http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/gm-korea-may-increase-exports-to-australia/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/gm-korea-may-increase-exports-to-australia/#comments Fri, 07 Mar 2014 17:52:32 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=767345 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 […]

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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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Opel Cascada Leading Brand’s Return To Australia http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/opel-cascada-leading-brands-return-to-australia/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/opel-cascada-leading-brands-return-to-australia/#comments Thu, 06 Mar 2014 13:30:41 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=766153 Though the local auto industry in Australia is slowly drawing to a close, a few Opels will soon be found in Holden showrooms, beginning with the Cascada convertible. Carsguide reports Holden dealers were told in a briefing to make room for the convertible on their sales floors, as well as to expect more Opels to […]

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Opel_Cascada_Innovation_2.0_BiTurbo_CDTI

Though the local auto industry in Australia is slowly drawing to a close, a few Opels will soon be found in Holden showrooms, beginning with the Cascada convertible.

Carsguide reports Holden dealers were told in a briefing to make room for the convertible on their sales floors, as well as to expect more Opels to arrive in the future. Though nothing more was said about which Opels were to follow, News Corp Australia believes the Astra could be the next in line, sold alongside the locally produced Cruze until the end of all local production in 2017.

The Cascada’s arrival to the Australian market comes after Opel as a brand left the continent in August 2013, where 20 dealerships were folded and 15 office staff based in Melbourne were dismissed due to poor sales; prior to the experiment, Opel sold their cars with Holden badges in the 1990s through the early 2000s.

Opel’s return is part of a strategy by General Motors president and New Zealand native Dan Ammann to reaffirm his employer’s commitment to the Australian market, and to Holden, as he told reporters at the 2014 Geneva Auto Show this week:

We’re going to make sure we bring the product portfolio to the market that the customers really want. The Australian market has evolved a lot… it’s going to come back to how do we best meet their needs.

The Cascada will be sold for $50,000 AUD by the end of 2014.

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Australian Government to Create $89 Million Fund For Affected Holden Employees http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/australian-government-to-create-89-million-fund-for-affected-holden-employees/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/australian-government-to-create-89-million-fund-for-affected-holden-employees/#comments Thu, 19 Dec 2013 11:00:58 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=683426 In the wake of General Motors’ decision to cease all manufacturing operations through Australian subsidiary Holden by 2017, the Australian government has announced that they will create a $100 million AUD ($89 million USD) fund for affected employees. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is creating the fund and programs related to help transition the nation […]

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holden-emblem

In the wake of General Motors’ decision to cease all manufacturing operations through Australian subsidiary Holden by 2017, the Australian government has announced that they will create a $100 million AUD ($89 million USD) fund for affected employees.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is creating the fund and programs related to help transition the nation from heavy industrial manufacturing to “higher value-added” production beyond subsidies. Abbott had this to say about the matter:

In the end, no government has ever subsidized its way to prosperity. This government will be very loathe to consider requests for subsidies. We will be very loathe to do for businesses in trouble, the sorts of things that they would be doing for themselves.

The fund will comprise of $60 million AUD from the federal government, $12 million from the state of Victoria, and the remainder from the state of South Australia. Abbott expects GM will contribute the fund, as well.

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