US: Commodore comeback courtesy Chevrolet
Holden's Commodore, two generations of which were sold in the US as Pontiac models (GTO and G8), will make a comeback Stateside as a 2014 Chevrolet in 2013, gminsidenews.com (GMI) reported.
According to documents obtained by GMI, the project previously referred to as the ‘SS Sedan’ is now an approved programme coded Z2SC and expected to launch in North America in early 2013 as a 2014 model year vehicle. GMI was able to independently confirm the timeframe with Holden sources as well.
As well as an SS sedan, GM is also considering the Holden Ute (utility, or pickup) and Commodore SportWagon for the North American market but these are not currently approved for production. If approved, the documents suggest the ute - a revived El Camino - would launch at the same time as the sedan with the SportWagon coming later in the 2013 calendar year.
The website expected that the approval of the El Camino and SportWagon would hinge on fuel prices in North America and potential profitability of the two models, as both would likely be very low volume products.
It has also been able to confirm that the Commodore-based Caprice police patrol vehicle is expected to have a second generation on the North American market starting in 2014 model year as well.
Exports of the Pontiac G8 sedan based on a sporty Commodore model from Australia ended when GM axed the brand as part of its Chapter 11 restructuring after the global financial crisis. The earlier GTO was based on the previous generation two-door Monaro coupe.
The Pontiac brand's axing cost Holden millions of dollars in lost revenue and put the future of its manufacturing facility at Elizabeth in South Australia in doubt, the Sydney Morning Herald said.
It noted that the Commodore "now has friends in high places" with former Holden bosses Mark Reuss and Alan Batey holding senior positions in the GM empire in the US - Reuss is president of GM North America, and Batey vice-president of sales and service for Chevrolet.
Holden's next-generation 'VF' Commodore is due on sale in Australia in late 2013.
In January a senior General Motors source confirmed to the Sydney Morning Herald that the export deal had the green light, with senior engineer Al Oppenheiser pointing to Chevrolet as ''the obvious performance brand'', comparing the Commodore and the Australian-designed, US-built Camaro.
If the range is offered as a ''performance'' product, the focus of the export program would be on V8 models such as the Commodore SS, hence the leaked details calling the new Chevrolet an ''SS sedan''.