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Australian Holden engineer working on German-made Holden Commodore
News Corp Australia
By Joshua Dowling
October 07, 2014

News Corp Australia can exclusively reveal one of Holden’s most senior engineers has been based in Germany on a top-secret assignment for the past four years working on the car that will become the next Commodore.

Marinos Panayiotou, who worked at Holden from 2001, has been based at Opel in Germany since 2010 as the Lead Program Manager.

Despite the posting to Germany almost four years ago, Holden insiders insist the company had no plans at that stage to end local production of the Commodore.

Whether or not it was deliberate move, Mr Panayiotou’s appointment has placed Holden in an ideal position to ensure General Motors’ new global sedan meets the needs of Australian buyers.

Holden was working on the design of the Chinese version of the new sedan until the company announced last December it would end manufacturing in Australia in 2017.

The imported Commodore will likely be sold alongside the locally-made model for a short time as local manufacturing winds down in the second half of 2017.

Why is the next Holden Commodore coming from Germany?
Because Opel already builds more cars there and can export them more profitably.

Why is there no V8 in the new Commodore?
Because it is front-wheel-drive, and strict European emissions mean that engines are downsizing. Most V8s are being replaced by V6 engines, and V6s are in turn being replaced by four-cylinders.

Why is there no ute version of the new Commodore?
Because “car-derived” utes such as the Commodore and Falcon are a dying breed; the market has shifted to dual-cab “body-on-frame” pick-ups such as the Toyota HiLux

Will Holden call the new car a Commodore?
For now,Holden says the new car will be called a Commodore. But insiders say opinion within the company is still divided. Diehard fans believe the new car has changed so much that it should not be called a Commodore and the name should be retired (just as Ford will retire the Falcon nameplate)

What will happen to Holden Commodores in V8 Supercars?
No change.New rules mean that car makers can run a sedan body in V8 Supercars even if there is no V8 available in showrooms

*Full Article at Link
 

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From how I'm reading this, is Holden going to abandon the full-size market? Unless the Insignia/Regal is going to substantially in size. Or will there be a full-size sedan sourced from another GM unit? (next-Gen Impala or Lacrosse)

In addition, would there be a market overlap with the Malibu (current or future) since they are in the same (current) market segment and size. Or will the Holden Malibu be dropped.
 

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Why is there no ute version of the new Commodore?
Because “car-derived” utes such as the Commodore and Falcon are a dying breed; the market has shifted to dual-cab “body-on-frame” pick-ups such as the Toyota HiLux
Just sayin.
 

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From how I'm reading this, is Holden going to abandon the full-size market? Unless the Insignia/Regal is going to substantially in size. Or will there be a full-size sedan sourced from another GM unit? (next-Gen Impala or Lacrosse)

In addition, would there be a market overlap with the Malibu (current or future) since they are in the same (current) market segment and size. Or will the Holden Malibu be dropped.
Holden might as well just abandon the market, full stop. Their elevator ride down the brand rankings has already started. All this talk about Alpha-based RWD substitutes is rubbish. GM is dumbing Holden down to another me-too division like Toyota where the locals get to choose exterior colours and interior swatches and we will get whatever GM thinks the market will swallow. Unfortunately for GM, recent creations like the Malibu, and the current gen Opels have already been shown to be lacklustre performers. So - GM thinks Holden can stay anywhere near the top without local manufacture - just come back in six months.

The statement Amman made about overtaking Toyota for No 1. would have been funny, if it hadn't been so sad. It makes me think of this guy

 

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Interesting news.

However, while this points to the next Commodore going FWD and being imported to Australia from Germany, wasn't there also rumors that a more "affordable" RWD platform as also in the works?

If so, couldn't the Commodore be sourced from that platform, whatever manufacturing facility/country it would be imported from? The reason I'm asking is because, I'd imagine that the fleet-only Chevy Caprice wouldn't be a one-shot deal. And for that matter, neither would the Chevy SS. Rumors also spoke of a range-topping RWD Buick model for China (and possibly the US), sometime down the line.

If a more "humble" version of the Omega platform is being developed alongside Cadillac's CT6, I could envision such a product being sold in Australia at a more expensive price point, even while this larger/full-size model being developed in Germany (and presumably being a twin to the next Buick LaCrosse), gets imported to Australia at a more affordable price tag. That would splinter the segment further, but could enable the Commodore to live on for those who can afford it while offering a full-sized entrant to the masses. In this regard, it would become very much like the Impala/SS formula currently employed in the US market; a halo-performance sedan for those who truly want one, and a bread n' butter large sedan that satisfies the practical/everyday needs of 90% of consumers.

Just my two cents, but unless other parts of the GM Empire are going to do without a full-sized RWD product, I can only image that such a solution could become viable.
 
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Interesting news.

However, while this points to the next Commodore going FWD and being imported to Australia from Germany, wasn't there also rumors that a more "affordable" RWD platform as also in the works?

If so, couldn't the Commodore be sourced from that platform, whatever manufacturing facility/country it would be imported from? The reason I'm asking is because, I'd imagine that the fleet-only Chevy Caprice wouldn't be a one-shot deal. And for that matter, neither would the Chevy SS. Rumors also spoke of a range-topping RWD Buick model for China (and possibly the US), sometime down the line.

If a more "humble" version of the Omega platform is being developed alongside Cadillac's CT6, I could envision such a product being sold in Australia at a more expensive price point, even while this larger/full-size model being developed in Germany (and presumably being a twin to the next Buick LaCrosse), gets imported to Australia at a more affordable price tag. That would splinter the segment further, but could enable the Commodore to live on for those who can afford it while offering a full-sized entrant to the masses. In this regard, it would become very much like the Impala/SS formula currently employed in the US market; a halo-performance sedan for those who truly want one, and a bread n' butter large sedan that satisfies the practical/everyday needs of 90% of consumers.

Just my two cents, but unless other parts of the GM Empire are going to do without a full-sized RWD product, I can only image that such a solution could become viable.
I underlined your answer for you.

There is no 'mainstream RWD product' coming. Regal is already confirmed for next-gen Insignia. Forget Roadmasters, Alpha-based SS, all these fantasyware products. Alpha is hardly kicking goals at present. You think they are going to sink more money into it? I bet you no Alpha product makes it here before 2020.

GM can't even engineer 'global' cars like the CTS and ATS RHD from the get go for all markets. They aren't going to spend a lot of money for RHD. Let alone RWD in a market like Australia, were a large, imported RWD car with any decent content sold through Holden is going to cost in excess of $50K. The only Holdens with cachet to sell at that level are Calais Vs and Caprices - and they are steady sellers, but not in large numbers - maybe 10% of production. That's 5K a year at present.

You won't believe me, but I will spell it out for you. The reason the Commodore and Falcon were big sellers, was they were made and engineered here. And available in a wide range of trims, price points, features, body styles, drivelines. You could buy a big V8 or turbo six only $5-10K more than the entry sedan that could humble 90% of the cars on the road regardless of their purchase price but also transport five, or tow a boat or cartrailer. Or a few bucks more, a HSV or FPV that would take that to 99% and into the realms of semi-exotic performance.

That is gone. Imported, they are just one of any number of limited-option, competing, cramped FWD sedans with limited load ability - I feel no loyalty to GM for killing local manufacture, more like antipathy; I am not alone. If it doesn't stack up viewed through a jaundiced eye, I will pass. FWD, FWD-based-AWD is a massive fail for me - I can afford to buy pretty much any Holden or HSV product. I wouldn't touch anything GM makes for other markets at present. No, not Cadillac as I loathe the styling - it's a personal thing, YMMV. And it would likely fail the empirical test, is it viable to own for resale. With GM's habit of cutting and running (Opel in Oz, Cadillac in Europe) it would take a lot to trust them.

BMW and Mercedes prices which is what will happen as imports, guess what - they will sell in trickle numbers. I can walk onto a Holden lot and drive off in a sports V6 for <$40K, V8 for around $45K in any colour I like, a SS-V with leather and comfort content for a couple grand more or a loaded SS-V Redline for around $50K. An imported RWD car from Germany or America will start around $50K with a turbo four. The EB2.0 Mustang is indicated to start at $50K. At that price, you are up against C-class Mercs, 1-series M-sports, 3-series - starting to be a hard sell, considering the lease deals the Germans have, guaranteed buybacks etc.Not to mentiom, things like the FT86 for less than $30K, Nissan 370Z plus even stuff like the hot hatches - Meganes, Ford's own Focus ST, Subys etc. The hatches are FWD, but light and manageable and more convenient and practical.

It is literally like, GM has told American consumers no more 1/2 ton pickups, but we have an imported global Colorado you can buy. What do you think that would do for your established truck business?
 

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here is Fairfax's take on it:


http://www.drive.com.au/motor-news/european-commodore-could-be-revealed-in-2016-20141007-10r5n6.html

'European' Commodore could be revealed in 2016

375kW V6 and hybrid possible for upcoming German-made Commodore, which is expected to be shown in Europe in a couple of years.


The new imported Holden Commodore could be revealed in less than two years – and it could come with a 375kW V6 performance hero.

Opel is understood to be readying its next generation Insignia large car for as early as 2016 – a car that would go on to replace the Commodore.

While it could be unveiled internationally in 2016 the imported 'Commodore' – as revealed exclusively by Drive the Commodore name could be dropped in favour of Insignia or a fresh name - would not make it to Australia until local manufacturing ceases by the end of 2017.

Holden designers are understood to have influenced the look of the new imported Commodore, although it would be the first time since the 1960s a Holden large car has not been predominantly designed in Australia.

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Holden is denying a decision has been made on where within the General Motors world the first ever imported Commodore would come from - or what vehicle it would be.

"We're looking at a number of cars across GM," a Holden spokesman told Drive. "A decision has not yet been taken."

But Drive understands the Insignia is the vehicle that will fill the large car position in the Holden portfolio currently filled by the Commodore.

While there will be no V8 in for the Insignia, it's expected to deliver similar levels of performance to today's V8-powered Commodores.

Opel OPC/VXR performance manager Wilfried Diehl told Drive it would be possible to get 375kW out of a turbocharged V6 engine, which would eclipse all current Commodores except the 430kW supercharged V8 in the HSV GTS (the V8-powered SS has up to 270kW).

"If you have a V6 with 3.0-litre [turbo] you can reach easily 500 horsepower," said Diehl.

But he suggested it's a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo that is favoured for some performance options – which Holden would badge as VXR - with up to 300kW capable in future iterations of the Insignia.

"For the Insignia we should step to a 2.0-litre [four-cylinder] engine, not to stay with a V6," he said, referring specifically to the performance focused VXR models. "A four-cylinder engine around 400 horsepower would be fine for the Insignia."

However, a Holden insider has told Drive the four-cylinder engine that will be available in the Insignia in Europe is an unlikely starter for the otherwise identical Commodore.

Either way, combined with weight savings from a slightly smaller body than the current VF Commodore as well as the use of lightweight materials, the new Insignia/Commodore promises the sorts of effortless performance Australians expect of a large car.


http://www.drive.com.au/motor-news/european-commodore-could-be-revealed-in-2016-20141007-10r5n6.html
 

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Where is that picture of the possible Lacrosse being tested with some trucks I believe? The one with the nice wheels.
 

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"If you have a V6 with 3.0-litre [turbo] you can reach easily 500 horsepower," said Diehl.

But he suggested it's a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo that is favoured for some performance options – which Holden would badge as VXR - with up to 300kW capable in future iterations of the Insignia.

"For the Insignia we should step to a 2.0-litre [four-cylinder] engine, not to stay with a V6," he said, referring specifically to the performance focused VXR models. "A four-cylinder engine around 400 horsepower would be fine for the Insignia."

However, a Holden insider has told Drive the four-cylinder engine that will be available in the Insignia in Europe is an unlikely starter for the otherwise identical Commodore.

Either way, combined with weight savings from a slightly smaller body than the current VF Commodore as well as the use of lightweight materials, the new Insignia/Commodore promises the sorts of effortless performance Australians expect of a large car.


http://www.drive.com.au/motor-news/european-commodore-could-be-revealed-in-2016-20141007-10r5n6.html
The current AWD Insignia VXR is 1805 Kg - a SS 6.0 VF is 1680. What the German guy is saying is, you will get the same turbo four-pot as the Buick Regal GS - and like it. Great. A 400hp nosedragger. Or, if they lumber it with AWD, it will weigh what a Caprice does and be about as agile, and go about as hard as a current SV6.
 

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here is Fairfax's take on it:
http://www.drive.com.au/motor-news/european-commodore-could-be-revealed-in-2016-20141007-10r5n6.html
Either way, combined with weight savings from a slightly smaller body than the current VF Commodore as well as the use of lightweight materials, the new Insignia/Commodore promises the sorts of effortless performance Australians expect of a large car.
http://www.drive.com.au/motor-news/european-commodore-could-be-revealed-in-2016-20141007-10r5n6.html
Except its not a large it's mid size and doesn't have the room a Commodore has, the rear seat room on an insignia is woeful compared to a Commodore
 

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I underlined your answer for you.

There is no 'mainstream RWD product' coming. Regal is already confirmed for next-gen Insignia. Forget Roadmasters, Alpha-based SS, all these fantasyware products. Alpha is hardly kicking goals at present. You think they are going to sink more money into it? I bet you no Alpha product makes it here before 2020.

GM can't even engineer 'global' cars like the CTS and ATS RHD from the get go for all markets. They aren't going to spend a lot of money for RHD. Let alone RWD in a market like Australia, were a large, imported RWD car with any decent content sold through Holden is going to cost in excess of $50K. The only Holdens with cachet to sell at that level are Calais Vs and Caprices - and they are steady sellers, but not in large numbers - maybe 10% of production. That's 5K a year at present.

You won't believe me, but I will spell it out for you. The reason the Commodore and Falcon were big sellers, was they were made and engineered here. And available in a wide range of trims, price points, features, body styles, drivelines. You could buy a big V8 or turbo six only $5-10K more than the entry sedan that could humble 90% of the cars on the road regardless of their purchase price but also transport five, or tow a boat or cartrailer. Or a few bucks more, a HSV or FPV that would take that to 99% and into the realms of semi-exotic performance.

That is gone. Imported, they are just one of any number of limited-option, competing, cramped FWD sedans with limited load ability - I feel no loyalty to GM for killing local manufacture, more like antipathy; I am not alone. If it doesn't stack up viewed through a jaundiced eye, I will pass. FWD, FWD-based-AWD is a massive fail for me - I can afford to buy pretty much any Holden or HSV product. I wouldn't touch anything GM makes for other markets at present. No, not Cadillac as I loathe the styling - it's a personal thing, YMMV. And it would likely fail the empirical test, is it viable to own for resale. With GM's habit of cutting and running (Opel in Oz, Cadillac in Europe) it would take a lot to trust them.

BMW and Mercedes prices which is what will happen as imports, guess what - they will sell in trickle numbers. I can walk onto a Holden lot and drive off in a sports V6 for <$40K, V8 for around $45K in any colour I like, a SS-V with leather and comfort content for a couple grand more or a loaded SS-V Redline for around $50K. An imported RWD car from Germany or America will start around $50K with a turbo four. The EB2.0 Mustang is indicated to start at $50K. At that price, you are up against C-class Mercs, 1-series M-sports, 3-series - starting to be a hard sell, considering the lease deals the Germans have, guaranteed buybacks etc.Not to mentiom, things like the FT86 for less than $30K, Nissan 370Z plus even stuff like the hot hatches - Meganes, Ford's own Focus ST, Subys etc. The hatches are FWD, but light and manageable and more convenient and practical.

It is literally like, GM has told American consumers no more 1/2 ton pickups, but we have an imported global Colorado you can buy. What do you think that would do for your established truck business?
Holden might as well just abandon the market, full stop. Their elevator ride down the brand rankings has already started. All this talk about Alpha-based RWD substitutes is rubbish. GM is dumbing Holden down to another me-too division like Toyota where the locals get to choose exterior colours and interior swatches and we will get whatever GM thinks the market will swallow. Unfortunately for GM, recent creations like the Malibu, and the current gen Opels have already been shown to be lacklustre performers. So - GM thinks Holden can stay anywhere near the top without local manufacture - just come back in six months.

The statement Amman made about overtaking Toyota for No 1. would have been funny, if it hadn't been so sad. It makes me think of this guy

You sound incredibly bitter mate!
 

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It is literally like, GM has told American consumers no more 1/2 ton pickups, but we have an imported global Colorado you can buy. What do you think that would do for your established truck business?
Excellent point.

The answer?

It would collapse and Toyota would own the Truck market and Ford, FCA and GM would lose millions in revenue.

Kinda like what is going to happen in Australia.

Feel for you guys, some companies just do not "get it".
 

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You sound incredibly bitter mate!
I am. GM took a company on top of the market in Australia, profitable 4 years out of 5 since 1988, which achieved that after GM cut it loose, and screwed with it. Subverted it's product plans with on-again, off-again North American cars, sucked it dry of funds in a vain attempt to avoid banktuptcy.

Well, their chickens are going to come home to roost but good. In a few years time, someone at HQ is going to notice that Holden is thuddling along with it's eyes down on autopilot, not really making money, not really losing money, a midfielder with nothing to distinguish it from any other foreign import car company - which is what it will be to us. And wonder what happened to the company that gave it the highest-performing and most competent Pontiac sedan and coupe that actually had good quality, rattle-free construction and could drive like sportscars around a corner, the first Camaro that beat the Mustang straight-up five years in a row. The answer is, GM killed it. Deliberately and callously. So yep, people like me who have been Holden fans as long as we could recognise one, we're not happy.
 

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It will want to be an absolutely brilliant vehicle for it to do well as it won't do well on its name as it even if they call it Commodore it is a different format. Perhaps if it is all wheel drive then it may be possible to exist with the Commodore name.
 

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But he suggested it's a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo that is favoured for some performance options – which Holden would badge as VXR - with up to 300kW capable in future iterations of the Insignia.
Yes, 300kW is possible from a 2.0 turbo four, but not in 35°C+ temperatures. Anyone driven a Saab 2.0 Aero automatic on a 40°C day? 0-100kph in 18 seconds (multiple test runs at Lang Lang).

Either way, combined with weight savings from a slightly smaller body than the current VF Commodore as well as the use of lightweight materials, the new Insignia/Commodore promises the sorts of effortless performance Australians expect of a large car.
Weight savings from a smaller body? Savings? How about interior space? Is smaller better?

the new Insignia/Commodore promises the sorts of effortless performance Australians expect of a large car.
Unbelievable. Holden spin doctors took a whole contingent of Australian motoring press (including Drive) on a free trip to the Paris Motor Show last week, and they are already returning the favour by putting a positive spin on this story. Locally build Commodore = bad. Imported smaller "Commodore" = good.
 
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