By on October 10, 2017

2017 Chevrolet Camaro Holden badge - Image: ChevroletGeneral 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 and the founder and former editor of Follow on Twitter @timcaincars and Instagram.

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22 Comments on “Have No Fear, Bowtie Faithful: the Chevrolet Camaro Will Not Wear a Holden Badge in Australia...”

  • avatar

    “It’s intrinsic to its DNA and to what it stood for, for decades in the U.S., and globally.”

    Yea, could you imagine if a long-running Australian performance car was brought over to the American market and given an anonymous two character name or a 60s nostalgia badge? That would be stupid.

  • avatar

    As an Aussie, it’s getting a bit old putting all the pictures upside down.

  • avatar

    Is nationality now a source of victimhood status? I think Aussies should demand 50% of North American pics be put upside down to promote equality.

  • avatar

    I’ve seen quite a few (OK, three or four) of those aussie GM cars re-badged back to Holdens.

  • avatar

    The last VF Zeta rolled off the factory line today.

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    Why can’t it be called a Monaro?

    • 0 avatar

      Because Australians aren’t stupid. They know what a Camaro is, and isn’t.
      For the sake of making a point I know there are 4-door versions too… the Monaro is, effectively, a 2-door full-size Holden and styled as such, the Camaro is a standalone model and has no styling cues similar to the Commodore.
      The Camaro will be welcomed with open arms, I’m sure, but to badge is as a Monaro, lest a Holden, would be a great misstep.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Price will ensure the Camaro is only a niche product in Australia.

        Most Aussies, even Holden fans will say “I wanna V8” then buy a 4×4 dualcab ute, Then maybe a Mustang.

        I consider this a pity.

        • 0 avatar

          It will be as much a niche product as the the current HSV lineup, which for its limited production capacity, sells enough to hold its own. I think for now, the main limitation will be how many Camaros they can get a hold of from the US.
          It is, after all, the demographic that Holden/HSV is aiming Camaro at, once the Commodore-based models are discontinued — similar price range, similar powertrain setup, however, less doors (that in itself isn’t a dealbreaker for most HSV customers as its either not their sole vehicle, or they don’t have kids to cart around).

  • avatar

    Does Chevy has dealerships in Oz? No. Aussies have to go to a Holden dealership to buy and service a Camaro. So why not brand it as Holden?

  • avatar

    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!

    Consider this point in light of the Camaro design being so heavily influenced by nostalgia, and it starts to make more and more sense.

  • avatar

    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.

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