Negotiations for the Holden Commodore to return to the U.S. as a Chevrolet sports sedan are ongoing. At the Los Angeles Auto Show, a senior engineer for General Motors, Al Oppenheiser, confirmed that the Commodore is likely to return to North America. He also said that it should take place within the lifespan of the current model. Oppenheiser said that there’s still no official announcement but the company is “definitely looking at doing something with Holden for the retail market." However, a GM insider said that the export deal had already received approval.
Previously, the VE Commodore was exported to the US as a Pontiac G8 with V6 and V8 engine options. This program ended when GM fell into bankruptcy and the Pontiac brand was cut off. This resulted to Holden losing millions of dollars in lost exports and it put the Elizabeth plant and Holden itself at risk. Oppenheiser said that the company seeks to bridge a gap in the performance sedan market that opened up when the Pontiac G8 left.
He said that with Pontiac out of the picture, Chevrolet is the “obvious performance brand.” That is why the Commodore Zeta 1 architecture has much to offer with rear-wheel-drive performance. He explained that the “opportunities are endless” when you consider the synergy between motor compartment packaging of the Commodore and HSV products compared to what’s done with Camaro and Corvette. Holden has yet to make an official announcement about the new Commodore-based export program. [via Drive]