Zeta Update: Three Holden Products For North America?
The Zeta drama continues at GM.
March 28, 2011
By: Nick Saporito
Zeta rumors have been the hot topic of General Motors’ enthusiasts and mainstream media since the first inklings of the return of the Camaro. Initially the platform was going to see production in North America, hosting an entire lineup of rear-wheel drive greatness. Then gas prices spiked the first time and GM’s cash position dwindled, thus killing the glorious plans. Fast-forward to today and drama still surrounds Zeta, but future plans are starting to become clearer.
Since the demise of the Holden derived Pontiac G8 sedan, there has been much internal debate about bringing the Holden Commodore back to the North American market. GM’s high executive turn rate since emerging from its 2009 bankruptcy has not helped that matter, with each of the three post-bankruptcy CEO’s having a different position on the importation of Holden products.
Back in September GMI first reported that Chevrolet was aspiring to have a Commodore-based sedan on the North American market. Internally the sedan has been referred to as “SS Sedan.” Initial reports had the car launching for the 2012 model-year, but that has since been pushed back to 2014 model year, likely to capitalize on the redesigned Commodore that will launch around the same time.
According to documents obtained by GMI, the ‘SS Sedan’ is now operating as an approved program. The program is running under the code Z2SC and is expected to launch in North America in early 2013 as a 2014 model year vehicle. GMI was able to independently confirm the time frame with Holden sources as well.
Perhaps the more interesting news is that GM is also considering the Holden Ute and Holden Commodore SportWagon for the North American market. Unlike the ‘SS Sedan,’ the Ute and SportWagon based models are not currently approved for production. If approved, the documents suggest the Ute would launch at the same time as the sedan, with the SportWagon launching later in the 2013 calendar year. The documents list the Ute based vehicle as ‘El Camino.’ The El Camino’s program code is Z2RC, while the SportWagon code is Z2WC.
GMI expects that the approval of the El Camino and SportWagon will hinge on fuel prices in North America and potential profitability of the two models, as both would likely be very low volume products.
In other Zeta news, GMI has also been able to confirm that the Caprice patrol vehicle is expected to have a second generation on the North American market starting in 2014 model year as well.
It’s important to note that the Zeta program at GM has been a near constant source of drama internally. As our reporting has reflected, there has been a tremendous amount of back and forth about Zeta. GMI is, however, starting to see some consistency with regards to the future of the ‘SS Sedan.’