End of the all-Aussie Holden Commodore in sight, says GM - Global replacement likey

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Thread: End of the all-Aussie Holden Commodore in sight, says GM - Global replacement likey

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    End of the all-Aussie Holden Commodore in sight, says GM - Global replacement likey

    Commodore’s end in sight

    Mark Skulley
    22 February 2012
    www.afr.com.au

    The Holden Commodore is set to be replaced in five to six years but *parent company General Motors is upbeat on the prospect of it being succeeded by a “global” car that will secure the future of its local manufacturing operations.

    The Shanghai-based president of GM’s international operations, Tim Lee, said that Holden was one of the “iconic car brands” of the world.

    “I like the fact that we have *full-line capability in Australia with designing and engineering, building and selling vehicles,” Mr Lee told The Australian Financial Review in an exclusive interview. “We want to maintain that *capacity.”

    The GM chief spoke after meeting Prime Minister Julia Gillard and other Labor ministers in *Canberra last week, along with *opposition MPs and business figures. His visit comes ahead of federal cabinet signing off on an industry assistance package, which industry figures have estimated could be around $100 million, to help secure a potential $400 million investment by GM next month.

    Mr Lee said the Commodore had been the company’s strongest local seller for many years, but that Holden had to move with the “vehicle requirements and buying patterns of the 21st century”.

    “It’s still an outstanding motor vehicle and one that we intend to produce for a long time,” he said. “But if you look at the motorway here in Melbourne, you see a lot of small cars. You see a lot of more fuel-efficient vehicles on the roads than Commodore.”

    “The fundamental key in the car- building business is basically how you configure your body shop and if we want to have the opportunity for both domestic and consumption, as well as export potential, we need to build cars in Adelaide that are off the global *platforms of General Motors,” Mr Lee said.

    “In the body shop the best way to do that is to have flexibility and to build two architectures and platforms. Maybe a mini car and a small car or maybe a small car and a compact car, or maybe a compact car and mid-sized car.”

    The Gillard government has been under pressure to justify further support for the industry, particularly after GM reported a net profit of $US7.6 billion ($7.07 billion) last week.

    The opposition is under fire over plans to cut $500 million from Labor’s decade-long $3.4 billion Automotive Transformation Scheme.

    While in Melbourne, Mr Lee reviewed prototypes of the new Commodore, which will be released next year. The quietly spoken executive had good news for followers of the large sedan.

    “We’re going to build a **** load more great Commodores,” he enthused. “We’re investing a huge amount in the next-generation Commodore.

    “We’ve got Commodores that we’re building now and want to sell between now then. We’re not backing down from Commodore at all. It’s a great car.”

    The model is expected to have a shelf life of about four to five years.

    The key pitch from GM is that countries with car industries either have import tariffs and other barriers – which it is not seeking – or they make “co-investments” with the industry.

    Mr Lee said the “new GM” operated differently and that all investments were judged in the “global landscape” after comparing the returns that could be made in other countries.

    “If the public policy of Australia understands and comprehends the value of its manufacturing base, like most other major countries do, there are various ways that countries encourage large multinationals to invest,” he said.

    The car giants are shifting to global models because it spreads the development costs of new cars across as many vehicles as possible.

    The last new-generation Commodore, the VE, took an *estimated $1 billion to develop. GM Holden can’t afford to do that any more given Australia has negligible import tariffs and more than 60 brands are competing in an annual new car market of 1 million vehicles.

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    Holden’s new VF Commodore out and about

    Ron Hammerton
    21 February 2012
    www.goauto.com.au

    Camouflaged next-generation 2014 Holden Commodore test cars have hit the road, with company chairman and managing director Mike Devereux as one of the drivers.

    Mr Devereux today told GoAuto that he had recently driven a VF Commodore engineering car – known colloquially as a ‘test mule’ – on Victorian public roads, saying he had been blown away by his first taste of the car outside Holden’s Lang Lang proving ground.

    He said the cars were complete VF Commodore prototypes under the camouflage, including the exterior panels, except that some interior finishes had been made up of different surfaces, such as one section in piano black and another in carbon-fibre, for example.

    “I think that dynamically, people are going to be surprised by how good the VF is,” he said. “And it looks fantastic.”

    Mr Devereux also revealed that an announcement on the future of Holden’s Australian manufacturing operations beyond the VF series was “more likely to be weeks than months” away.

    Apart from a new look, the 2014 model will get lightweight components – developed with the aid of a $39.8 million federal government Green Car Innovation Fund grant – to reduce fuel consumption by about seven per cent.

    Work on that light-weighting program has been going on in parallel with the overall development of the VF Commodore, which is Holden’s first new large car since the current VE Commodore was launched in 2006.

    The VF – which will retain a modified version of the locally developed rear-drive Zeta platform – is expected to be the first Australian-built car to get mass-produced aluminium panels as a result of the $160 million program.

    As well, electric-assisted power steering and improved aerodynamics are expected to be in the mix of solutions to cut fuel consumption.

    Mr Devereux said his boss, GM vice-president and president of GM International Operations Tim Lee, had been shown the VF on a recent visit to Melbourne.

    Although Mr Devereux declined to say exactly when the new model would be launched, he indicated that media speculation that the VF would be a 2014 model was not far from the mark.

    That could mean the VF will appear in 2013 – perhaps as early as next year’s Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne in July – and enter production in the third quarter.

    The dedicated LPG V6 engine just launched in the current Commodore is expected to be carried over into the new model, meaning even greater fuel economy savings and lower CO2 emissions thanks to the lighter VF body.

    While Holden is on the home straight in its VF Commodore program, three-way discussions continue between the federal government, Holden and Holden’s parent company General Motors on proposed government co-investment to secure future Australian production of Holden cars at Elizabeth, in South Australia.

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    Last edited by JoeT; 02-21-2012 at 05:25 PM.
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    Re: End of the all-Aussie Holden Commodore in sight, say GM - Global replacement like

    Sounds like the car after the VF commodore is going Alpha or Omega. Epsilon doesn't sound likely b/c they can import them from south Korea.

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    Re: End of the all-Aussie Holden Commodore in sight, say GM - Global replacement like

    I will never understand why GM decided to make another high end RWD architecture in Omega, when they had a perfectly good albeit heavy architecture in Zeta. Why not use Zeta on larger more high end products, and Alpha for small to mid sized RWD applications. With Zeta GM could have spent monumentally less on light weighting it, than on developing a whole new architecture in Omega.

    Oh well at the end of the day if it has to happen, and Commodore has to move to a global architecture at least it will stay RWD and still be built in Australia. Please GM, at least give Holden some part in the next all new Commodore. Please!

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    Re: End of the all-Aussie Holden Commodore in sight, say GM - Global replacement like

    Its good news for us over here for the next Cheverolet RWD offerings

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    Re: End of the all-Aussie Holden Commodore in sight, say GM - Global replacement like

    Super Epsilons FOR ALL!

    YAY!!!!!!

    (not)

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    Re: End of the all-Aussie Holden Commodore in sight, say GM - Global replacement like

    This shouldn't be a surprise as all platforms will be global. Australia will get either Alpha or Omega vehicles or both. All they're saying here is that Holden will lose engineering lead on future rwd platforms. Sad to say but Holden is becoming to Chevrolet what Vauxhall is to Opel a regional "name only" Brand.

    GM is consolidating to two global Brands, Chevrolet and Cadillac, with regional and or/premium brands based in varying degrees off the two global Marques on global platforms; Holden moving to layer build enforces this view.
    Last edited by Quest; 02-21-2012 at 04:38 PM.
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    Longitudinal powertrain Audi vehicles with quattro are indistinguishable from RWD vehicles with Full-Time AWD; both meet the criteria to be labeled RWD/AWD - to argue otherwise is a “logical fallacy” (argumentum ad logicam).

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    Re: End of the all-Aussie Holden Commodore in sight, say GM - Global replacement like

    This is already happening. The VF is a global vehicle in some ways. I am sure that there are elements of other GM vehicles used in it and I would be fairly sure that there will be elements of it used in other vehicles too. It makes no sense for any GM location to act in isolation unless there is a very good reason for it ie if one country adopts a safety feature years ahead of anyone else. The same thing happens with the suppliers. The suppliers have factories in China that are best at doing mass production so it makes sense to build the early prototypes in locations where they are used to running multiple jobs simultaneously.

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    Re: End of the all-Aussie Holden Commodore in sight, say GM - Global replacement like

    If they start building a bunch of compacts, profits will fall. People have always paid more for a larger car and larger cars aren't really more expensive to manufacture than small cars.
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    Re: End of the all-Aussie Holden Commodore in sight, say GM - Global replacement like

    the ve was the only holden ever to truly be a holden product. all commodores beforehand were based on opels. holdens before the commodore were based on something from elsewhere as well. just beefed up for australian conditions. Even if commodore goes alpha atleast that platform had it's origins in the torana show car way back when so atleast there will still be some holden in the car.

    Plus the way that the vf is being talked about by the holden md on here (http://www.goauto.com.au/mellor/mell...2579AB001E5261), it is shaping up as something special.

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    Re: End of the all-Aussie Holden Commodore in sight, say GM - Global replacement like

    Quote Originally Posted by holdenboy View Post
    I will never understand why GM decided to make another high end RWD architecture in Omega, when they had a perfectly good albeit heavy architecture in Zeta. Why not use Zeta on larger more high end products, and Alpha for small to mid sized RWD applications. With Zeta GM could have spent monumentally less on light weighting it, than on developing a whole new architecture in Omega.

    Oh well at the end of the day if it has to happen, and Commodore has to move to a global architecture at least it will stay RWD and still be built in Australia. Please GM, at least give Holden some part in the next all new Commodore. Please!
    When you are in the segment of the BMW 7 series and Audi A8 you can not afford to spare expense and stick with a cheaper and heavier chassis. GM has to make vehicles that are competitive from the ground up, not to mention that Cadillac has a better track record as far as reliability goes. So think of the ATS a vehicle as good as the 3 series but lower maintain cost and won't break down on you as much...... . The Japanese have been able to pull that off so now GM has to pull that off as well or they will always be second best. Looking at their recent product GM doesn't plan on playing second fiddle to anyone.

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    Re: End of the all-Aussie Holden Commodore in sight, say GM - Global replacement like

    Quote Originally Posted by 63GrandSport001 View Post
    When you are in the segment of the BMW 7 series and Audi A8 you can not afford to spare expense and stick with a cheaper and heavier chassis. GM has to make vehicles that are competitive from the ground up, not to mention that Cadillac has a better track record as far as reliability goes. So think of the ATS a vehicle as good as the 3 series but lower maintain cost and won't break down on you as much...... . The Japanese have been able to pull that off so now GM has to pull that off as well or they will always be second best. Looking at their recent product GM doesn't plan on playing second fiddle to anyone.
    With ATS, GM has spared no expense to be the best. This is a totally new philosophy from GM for Cadillac.

    With Camaro, I am sure there will be a cheap RWD platform for Holden to continue its RWD traditions. It just wont be exclusive to Australia.

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    Re: End of the all-Aussie Holden Commodore in sight, say GM - Global replacement like

    Quote Originally Posted by 63GrandSport001 View Post
    When you are in the segment of the BMW 7 series and Audi A8 you can not afford to spare expense and stick with a cheaper and heavier chassis. GM has to make vehicles that are competitive from the ground up, not to mention that Cadillac has a better track record as far as reliability goes. So think of the ATS a vehicle as good as the 3 series but lower maintain cost and won't break down on you as much...... . The Japanese have been able to pull that off so now GM has to pull that off as well or they will always be second best. Looking at their recent product GM doesn't plan on playing second fiddle to anyone.
    Holden was originally slated to use Sigma for VE Commodore - as it is, even though the front alloy double wishbones didn't make it, elements of the rear suspension design did. Just as Zeta-like elements appear in ATS, like the very-similar appearing front suspension module. It's very likely Alpha, Omega and whatever underpins Commodore 'VG' will be very similar. At Commodore volumes and prices steel members make more sense. At Cadillac prices you can accomodate alloy.

    An awful lot depends on public policy between now and about 2015. But everyone is making all the right noises. Zeta II is quite different underneath to Zeta I. It isn't only the external panels. The core structure is quite different.
    Last edited by BBDOS CV8; 02-21-2012 at 05:57 PM.
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    Re: End of the all-Aussie Holden Commodore in sight, says GM - Global replacement lik

    as long as it's a large, RWD sedan, called Commodore, it should be a success

    by developing it off a global platform, engineering and tooling costs will be massively reduced. and by borrowing say, a Cadillac platform, that might be a couple years old even, the costs would be basically zero.

    things like body panels, bumpers, lights etc can all be adapted for different local markets so it can potentially looks nothing like it's north American counterparts, and the buying public would have next to no idea it's not 100% Oz engineered.

    look at the VT-VZ Commodore. Most successful model range in recent history. Still borrowed a massive amount of parts from Opel.

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    Re: End of the all-Aussie Holden Commodore in sight, say GM - Global replacement like

    Quote Originally Posted by mbukukanyau View Post
    Its good news for us over here for the next Cheverolet RWD offerings
    Though how long until we see the car in the North American showrooms?

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    Re: End of the all-Aussie Holden Commodore in sight, says GM - Global replacement lik

    FWD Commies.

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