GMI Exclusive: El Camino Rebirth Dead - Pontiac or GMC Ute?
JoeT & MonaroSS
25 August 2007
Hope's of a new generation El Camino appear to be dead, according to Bob Lutz.
GM's Vice Chairman of Product Development and Chairman of GM North America broke the news in an email response to GMInsideNews member MonaroSS.
MonaroSS, a photoshop enthusiast, produced a picture of what he thinks a Chevrolet El Camino badged Holden Ute could look like and sent it by e-mail to Mr Lutz with the comment "Hope the new Ute gets a more Chevy look if it goes Stateside."
Mr Lutz, a well known fan of all things Holden, responded by saying "Well, that's what we want to do, but it won't be a Chevrolet!"
This comes just three days after the unveiling of the all-new Holden Ute (Click here to see more). The new Ute is the third Holden product to be based on GM's Zeta/VE platform after the release of the new Holden Commodore and Statesman/Caprice range late last year.
There has been speculation that the Holden Ute would be exported to North America as a revived Chevrolet El Camino for some years. Like the Holden Ute, which has been in production since 1951, the Coupe-Utility El Camino was produced for the North American market for just under 30 years from 1959.
Speculation will now turn to which other GM brands the Holden Ute may be badged under in the US.
Pontiac, the brand that sold the last generation Holden Monaro Coupe in the US as the legendary GTO, and truck brand GMC would have to be the frontrunners.
MonaroSS broke the news in March this year that despite strong rumors Holden was not producing a V12 for a super-luxury Cadillac supercar after similar e-mail correspondence with Mr Lutz (Click here to see more).
VE Ute Confirmed For US, But Not As A Chev
Byron Mathioudakis & Marton Pettendy
29 August 2007
Holden has confirmed that its all-new VE Ute is ready for export to left-hand drive markets, including the United States, but General Motors' global product chief Bob Lutz has quashed hopes it could become the latter-day replacement for the Chevrolet El Camino.
According to gminsidenews.com, in response to a member's emailed suggestion that the Ute should adopt more of a Chevrolet look if it is sold in the US, GM's global vice-chairman of product development and GM North America chairman Bob Lutz said: "Well, that's what we want to do, but it won't be a Chevrolet."
An announcement is due within the next 12 months and the latest betting is the VE Ute will carry either Pontiac or GMC badges in the US, in an arrangement that would see the VE Ute follow the VE sedan on sale in the US.
In an unpreceded export deal, up to 50,000 modified VE Commodore SS sedans will be sold in the US annually as the 2008 Pontiac G8 sedan from early next year.
Holden revealed with great fanfare its first G8 prototype in June, and GoAuto reader Jesse White has snapped what appears to be a near-final production version of the Holden-built G8 - the first example of the Holden-designed global rear-wheel drive large-car architecture (dubbed Zeta) to be exported outside Australia - on Melbourne roads wearing a Pontiac grille and spoiler, but with 17-inch Holden wheels.
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