Time to Go Global? GM Australia's Holden Special Vehicles Building Right-hand-drive Chevrolet Camaros for Sale in 2018

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
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time to go global gm australia s holden special vehicles building right hand drive

In response to the huge global success achieved by the sixth-generation Ford Mustang, General Motors’ Australian Holden branch is developing right-hand-drive Chevrolet Camaros for sale in 2018.

According to Australia’s News, the beleaguered Holden brand will benefit from the launch of a market-specific Camaro next year thanks to conversion work done by Holden Special Vehicles.

General Motors is no doubt privy to news that the Ford Mustang became a global hit when the sixth iteration launched with independent rear suspension and right-hand-drive availability. The Mustang arrived in the United Kingdom in late 2015, for instance, and quickly outsold all other sporting coupes, earning the bulk of its sales from V8 versions. And in Australia, where Ford originally anticipated 1,000 annual Mustang sales, the Blue Oval is running at a roughly 10,000-unit annual pace.

Selling far fewer Camaros in its home market than it used to, Chevrolet could certainly use a global boost for its high-performance coupe. But the sales boost may be modest, as Australia’s Camaro is destined to be far more costly than the Mustang.

The cost of total Camaro renovation will likely drive the Camaro SS’s price up to AUD $80,000-$90,000, about $30,000 more than the basic Mustang and $20,000 more than the Mustang GT. Price is only one factor that will result in few Camaro sales down under. HSV will likely only be able to build 1,000 of the cars annually, although Holden’s employee count is likely to tick up by 150 to 200 workers.

Until Holden readies the first right-hand-drive Camaros for sale in Australia, the company will suffer a six-month gap without a V8-engined performance car. Holden has typically been able to sell 3,000 V8-engined vehicles annually.

Back on this side of the Pacific, Camaro sales are off 2016’s pace by 4 percent through the first two-thirds of 2017, setting the stage for the lowest-volume year of U.S. Camaro sales since the nameplate was brought back from the grave in 2009. With 46,297 sales so far this year, the Camaro trails the Mustang by 10,000 units and the Dodge Challenger by 1,200.

[Images: General Motors, Ford]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars and Instagram.

Timothy Cain
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3 of 14 comments
  • RHD RHD on Sep 30, 2017

    Is the skywalker Camaro picture intentional, or is it just coincidence that for the third time this has accidently happened, and just on articles about the land Down Under? (Or is a spy shot of the ultra-secret Flying Chevrolet mule, being tested over a placid and colorful lake?)

  • TonyJZX TonyJZX on Oct 01, 2017

    This is ultimately a fail. The reason why the Mustang sells is that its a Mustang, and its priced well. The Camaro doesnt have such a following and unless is priced toe to the toe, then... why? Of course the Camaro has all the usual issue the Mustang is just plain better at.

    • Raph Raph on Oct 01, 2017

      The ZL1 and 1LE version are probably the cars worth converting since they offer some serious performance on par with more expensive cars making the pricey conversion less of a hard pill to swallow.

  • FreedMike I suppose that in some crowded city like Rome or Tokyo, there's a market for a luxurious pint-size car. I don't think they'll be able to give them away here in the U.S.
  • TMA1 How much did exchange rates affect this decision? The Renegade is imported from Italy. I'm wondering if that's what caused the price to reach within a few hundred of the much bigger Compass. Kind of a no-brainer to pick the larger, more modern vehicle.
  • CEastwood Everytime I see one of these I think there's a dummie who could have bought a real car , but has to say look at me driving this cool thing I can't drive in the rain like an actual motorcycle that I should have bought in the first place ! It's not Batman I see driving these - it's middle age Fatman .
  • SilverCoupe I should be the potential audience for this (current A5 owner, considering an S5 in the future), but I can't say it excites me. I have never liked the vertical bars in the grilles of sporting Mercedes models, for one thing. The interior doesn't speak to me either.I would be more likely to consider a BMW 4 Series, though not the current version with the double Edsel grille. Still, I suppose it would be worth a look when the time comes to replace my current vehicle.
  • Verbal Can we expect this model to help M-B improve on finishing 29th out of 30 brands in CR's recent reliability survey?