Ford’s Australia branch is getting $34 million AUD (roughly $35 million U.S. dollars) plus an unspecified contribution from the government of Victoria (an Australian state), to sustain a Ford plant in Melbourne. Total investment is said to be roughly $105 million USD. Holden, GM’s Australian division, is looking for some government funds too, and its raising questions about the viability of Australia’s domestic car industry.
GM’s troubled Australian division Holden has maintained its place in the GM empire for years now as the development center for GM’s global rear-drive architecture. The Holden-developed Zeta platform began as the basis for Holden’s Commodore full-size sedan, and has been put into use on a global basis by cars as diverse as the Chevy Camaro, the Chinese-market Buick Park Avenue and the Pontiac G8. But now GoAuto reports that the next-gen Commodore could be moved to Holden’s plus-sized version of the Epsilon II midsized front-drive chassis known as “Super Epsilon II,” the platform that will underpin the next Chevy Impala and the Cadillac XTS. The era of the Aussie RWD sedan may well be coming to a close…
Motor Trend gets three GM sources to confirm the return of the Pontiac G8 (Holden Commodore) to the North American market… only this time it’s coming as a Chevy. One exec even brags
We have a good name for it…
…and no, it’s not “Impala.” Nor is this simply a civilian version of the Caprice police model, which is based on the long-wheelbase version of the Zeta platform. This will be a limited-numbers affair and V8-only, reports MT, because currency fluctuations have made shipping cars from Australia more expensive. Should GM even be messing around importing the the Antipodean Driving Machine? The numbers might say no, but the fanboys are already screaming “hell yes” (or, more accurately “what about an El Camino ute version?”). Check out Michael Karesh’s reviews of all three versions of the Pontiac G8 (you can even read Liebermann’s Take Two on the GT if you must), and let us know what you think of the return of the G8.
GM’s Australian Holden division has been developing the kind of big-bore RWD vehicles we tend to think of as being quintessentially American for quite some time. But every time GM hints at repatriating one of these old-school machines to its spiritual homeland in the states, something goes terribly wrong. One classic example of this disfunction was the offshoot of GM’s last effort to bring Holdens stateside as the Pontiac G8, the G8 Sport Truck, a rebadge of Holden’s Ute. The travails of the G8 have been well documented, but the Sport Truck was killed before it even had the chance to lose GM money and be cut along with the Pontiac brand. Now, just as the memory of that savage tease was fading, GM’s Mark Reuss reveals that the El Camino could be back after all.
Oh, the sad saga of the Pontaic G8. GM finally built a vehicle worthy of Pontiac’s sporty pretensions, only to can the whole brand months later, leaving the G8 orphaned. Which was crummy for enthusiasts, but ultimately a good thing for GM’s business as G8s were assembled in Australia and shipped over to the US, bleeding profit margin all the way. Then came news that a G8-alike would be built in North America, but would only be marketed to police fleet buyers as a Caprice. “Insult to injury!” shrieked the slighted fans of V8 RWD sedans. What they didn’t realize was that GM was still in injury mode. For the real insult, we turn now to the Carpoint.com.au [via Jalopnik], which reports that consumers can still buy new Pontiac G8s. In Australia. Sort of.