Have No Fear, Bowtie Faithful: the Chevrolet Camaro Will Not Wear a Holden Badge in Australia
General Motors’ Australian outpost is losing all of its domestic production, but that doesn’t mean Holden is shutting down all of its Australian development operations.
Late last month, we told you the Chevrolet Camaro was going to become a right-hand-drive model five years earlier than originally planned because of special rebuilds by GM’s Holden division.
But once the Chevrolet Camaro goes on sale Down Under, it will not wear the local GM badge.
Rather, Chevrolet’s bowtie will remain affixed to the grille of the sixth-gen Camaro.
Of course, the Camaro remains unconfirmed for the Australian market. According to Australia’s Drive, Holden’s communications director Sean Poppitt referred this week to the Camaro as “the mysterious sports car that we’ve talked about,” while clarifying that some competitors — namely Ford, with its huge global hit of a sixth-gen Mustang — moved more quickly into right-hand-drive markets. By taking a car that is not designed to be right-hand-drive and forcing it to become right-hand-drive, the cost of the Camaro will rise quite sharply. It won’t be competitively priced with the Mustang in Australia.
But it is almost certainly destined to exist. Holden Special Vehicles spokesperson Damon Paull says, “I have read reports about the Camaro coming but we have no comment.” Hardly a denial.
Likewise, Poppitt refused to speak directly about the Camaro, but he informed Drive about the potential branding strategy. “I think it has to wear a Chevrolet badge, it absolutely does,” the Holden communications boss says. “It’s intrinsic to its DNA and to what it stood for, for decades in the U.S., and globally.”
You better believe it. While the Corvette stands off to the side as a near separate entity, the Camaro is proudly Chevrolet.
Last month in the United States, Camaro volume rose 13 percent to a class-topping 7,430 September sales. That made September 2017 the best September for the Camaro since 2009, the Camaro’s year of rebirth. In Australia, Holden Special Vehicles will likely build 1,000 right-hand-drive Camaros per year.
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.
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Naysayers to the idea of a Camaro wearing the Bowtie in Australia are forgetting that there is a significant group of folks who know and love classic American muscle cars, including the Chevy Camaro. Take a look for yourself! https://www.australianmusclecarsales.com.au/muscle/us_muscle.html http://www.americanmusclecars.com.au/ Consider this point in light of the Camaro design being so heavily influenced by nostalgia, and it starts to make more and more sense.
Since so much of the rebirth of Camaro was engineered in Australia, it's a shame that the capability to be either left or right hand drive was not built in. The European and Japanese manufacturers seem to have no trouble with the concept.