Europe Wants More Aussie HSV's
21 July 2006
Holden's British affiliate Vauxhall is keen to add HSV's E-Series to its line-up as soon as possible.
“We’re certainly looking at it because it makes sense given that the Monaro was so good for the company,” said Vauxhall spokesman Tom Barnard.
Vauxhall has re-badged and sold the Holden coupe for the UK market since 2004, promoting it with somewhat dubious lines such as “champagne quality at lager prices” and “unbeatable power for pound”.
More recently, you’ll see posters in the London underground listing the Monaro’s engine capacity, power and performance figures then labelling them the “numbers of the beast.”
“The appeal of the Monaro was that it had cheap power with real V8 performance for less than a BMW M3.”
“Even if we replace it with a four door saloon I think that gives it slightly more appeal because then people can feel they’re getting [a BMW] M5 without spending as much,” Mr Barnard said.
Vauxhall is more interested in HSV versions of the VE than mainstream Holden models such as the SS because historically, the Monaro has sold better in the UK in high-power VXR specification despite a 7000 pound difference in price.
The only catch is that according to Mr Barnard there hasn’t been serious discussion within Vauxhall about replacing the Monaro with an HSV variant of the VE sedan.
“We haven’t even got one in the country yet, and we certainly haven’t got around to looking at names.”
“Basically, if we decide not to do it we won’t lose any sleep. It won’t mean the end of our business because the Monaro was a halo model to the [Vauxhall] brand which, after all, is about selling Barinas and Astras.”
However, if a decision to import the VE is made, it could happen quickly. Expensive type-approval measures such as crash testing are not required for models selling in numbers of less than 500.
The two versions of the Monaro sold in the UK – both pre and post bonnet scoop – were imported to exactly that tune, meaning a total of just under a 1000 Monaros on English roads.
Interestingly, anyone still interested in buying a Monaro, which is no longer on sale in Australia, can still pick one up in Great Britain.
According to Mr Barnard, there’s a last consignment of the HSV-modified VXR Monaro due to arrive in England by boat sometime in September, making them probably the last new Monaros available in the world.