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Holden builds last model after 69 years of production

Less than a month ago, Toyota capped off its production in Australia, and now, Holden’s very last production model in the country has rolled off the assembly lines. This year marks the company’s 69th year of manufacturing in Australia, and Holden decided to organize a special private even for the hard-working men and women behind Holden and the media.

Holden is one of the oldest transportation companies in the world, and back in August 2008, they have already assembled their seven millionth vehicle. That is sixty years after the very first model was launched, and today, they have built over 7.6 million vehicles all in all. The last example Holden built in Australia is a Commodore Redline.

Mark Bernhard, Chairman and Managing Director of Holden, said in his statement that their company’s number one priority is to treat their people with respect and dignity, and he is proud to be able to achieve their goal during the transition. For him, it is a recognition of their dedication over the years. He then added that 85 percent of their people have transitioned over the years, and they have supported and worked closely with these people.

Read the entire article Holden builds last model after 69 years of production

Chevy Camaro SS confirmed to reach the land down under in late 2018

In Australia, factories of GM-owned subsidiary Holden, have closed and so the automaker is looking for ways to keep the fans of the performance brand loyal. Despite the fact that the Mustang is the current best seller as it continues to outsell other sports cars in the region, Holden Special Vehicles and Chevy will work together on a plan to introduce the Camaro to the Australian market next year.

In 2018, Chevrolet will be selling the Camaro SS through the same dealer network, according to Wheels Mag. Of course, HSV engineers will convert the left-hand drive Camaro into right-hand drive for Australia. Under the hood, it will still have the 6.2 liter V8, allowing it to produce 455 horsepower (339 kilowatts).

As usual, the Camaro won’t come cheap. In Australia, one could get it for $80,000 AUD ($62,675 USD). For comparison’s sake, the entry level Mustang with a 2.3 liter EcoBoost engine starts at $44,990 AUD ($57,425 USD). On the other hand, for $57,499 AUD ($73,380 USD), customers can get the Mustang GT with a V8 engine that is paired with an automatic gearbox. According to GM, due to the $20,000 price difference, the Camaro and the Mustang are not to be considered direct competitors in the region.

Read the entire article Chevy Camaro SS confirmed to reach the land down under in late 2018

HSV (Holden Special Vehicles) is rumored to be rebranded to Walkinshaw next year

Walkinshaw. That is the new name that will be replacing Australia’s Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) brand. Rumours have been going around that Holden’s performance division is aiming to rebrand the company by next year, according to Car Advice.

This will however remain as rumours until it is officially announced by the company. But then again, this information is based on “credible and varying sources” who suggest that there will be an announcement sooner or later. In addition, there are three dealers that have confirmed the name change. However, we should never validate anything unless the company takes action, or at least confirms it.

We received hints of this development when Premoso Pty Ltd, which operated HSV, announced a huge 25 percent profit increase in the 2016 calendar year.

Read the entire article HSV (Holden Special Vehicles) is rumored to be rebranded to Walkinshaw next year

2017 Holden Astra is a Chevrolet Cruze wrapped with Australian flavors

The Chevrolet Cruze is coming to Australia. But it won’t be known as the Chevrolet Cruze. Instead, it will bear the Holden badge and get the Astra moniker. The 2017 Holden Astra is due to arrive at dealerships in Australia in May this year.

While the Holden Astra Sedan is derived from the United States-designed Cruze, the sedan boasts of significant input in terms of design and engineering from General Motor’s Australian unit. Thus, Holden is making sure that the 2017 Astra sedan would greatly appeal to customers in Australia thanks to its local flavors.

It has been typical for Holden to pick a vehicle from GM’s wide global lineup and endow it with Australian essence. In fact, the new Holden Commodore is just a re-badged Australian version of the Opel Insignia Grand Sport. As for the Holden Astra sedan, GM Australia’s design team worked hard to ensure that its styling is in line with the general looks of the Holden Astra lineup that already includes the Astra sedan and coupe. In fact, the new Holden Astra sedan serves as an expansion of the Holden’s small car lineup.

Read the entire article 2017 Holden Astra is a Chevrolet Cruze wrapped with Australian flavors

Less than three months remain before Opel and Vauxhall unveil the new Insignia Grand Sport – the second generation of the Insignia – to the global public at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show in March 2017. The new Opel/Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport will have other versions as the Buick Regal (North America) and the Holden Commodore (Australia).

In the Land Down Under, the Holden Commodore has a utility (ute) version, which is basically a Commodore transformed into a coupe-like pickup. However, Holden has decided to stop production of the Commodore in Australia. Instead, Holden will import the Opel Insignia Grand Sport and rebadge it as the Commodore. Because of this, Holden practically killed off the ute version of the Commodore. This means, that for the next generation of the Commodore, the ute will no longer be available.

Perhaps knowing that the new generation of the Holden Commodore won’t have an ute anymore, a certain rendering artist named Theophilus Chin created his own – albeit through visual graphics. Chin’s eagerness to see an ute version of the Commodore and the frustration that it won’t be available anymore could be why he made an effort to imagine and render an ute version for the Australian auto market.

Read the entire article This is how a 2018 Holden Commodore Ute would have looked like

Just a few short moments after it unveiled the new Insignia Grand Sport, GM is up for another astonishing revelation. Apparently, the 2018 Opel Insignia Grand Sport will be getting a new V6 engine version for Australia. So let’s all welcome the new generation Holden Commodore for the land down under!

Blame it on the different time zones. Others have thought that Holden was the first to reveal their V6. Whatever the case may be, we think both are sure winners. Hyped as the “most advanced Commodore” yet, Australia’s rebadged Insignia Grand Sport will be powered by a 308 hp V6 3.6 litre naturally aspirated engine with up to 273 lb-ft of torque.

In that case, there may be a slight difference from the current Commodore’s engine specs. The new version gets an additional 27hp and 15 pounds feet of torque aside from the standard AWD layout and GM’s first ever 9-speed AT gearbox.

Read the entire article 2018 Holden Commodore comes with a V6 just like its Insignia Grand Sport

Opel will soon send the next-generation Opel Insignia to the Land Down Under complete with a Holden badge and a new and beefier V6 engine to serve as its range topper.

Australians will be expecting the all-new Holden Commodore (the Aussie version of the next-generation Opel/Vauxhall Insignia) by early 2018 complete with its 3.6-liter V6 engine. It will be gracing the Australian outback with 308 horsepower (230 kW) and 273 lb.-ft. (370 Nm) of torque via its all-wheel drive setup with torque vectoring and nine-speed automatic transmission, a first for Holden.

The new Commodore is expected to lose weight – that is, a good 200 to 300 kilograms (440 to 661 pounds). However, with its new platform, the new Commodore will be shifting to a standard front-wheel drive setup. Also, lower versions of the Commodore will be made available complete with a front-wheel drive, turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline and diesel engine.

Read the entire article New Holden Commodore set to have 2018 launch in Australia

The Holden Efijy is a concept car built by Australian automaker Holden as a side project of its design team while creating the 2006 Commodore. The Efijy incorporated into its design certain elements from the 1953 FJ Holden such as the curvy 5.2 meter body and the visually arresting paint hue referred to as ‘Soprano Purple’.

Chief Designer Richard Ferlazzo made sure that the Efijy would showcase the latest electronics, mechanical and material products ideas by collaborating with 20 auto parts suppliers.

It boasts a 480 kW 6L V8 engine, shock absorbers that are air-adjustable via a touch screen, and LED headlamps that are cooled by fans. Even Denny Mooney, Holden Chairman and Managing Director, is proud of the resulting showcar as it shows the talent of Holden’s design team.

Read the entire article Holden Efijy Concept: the perfect combination of style and power

This futuristic car was kept so under wraps that during the design phase, it had its own code name RD 001. The 1969 Holden Hurricane, the name given to this concept car, was restored to its former glory by a dedicated set of Holden engineers and designers. The original inspiration behind the car was to create a vehicle that used the newest design influence and used the power of propulsion to create a car of the future.

This two seater mid engined, rear-wheel drive sports car was so much ahead of its counterparts at the time and it managed to combine innovative technology and the latest features. These included features such as the station-seeking radio tuner, intelligent automatic temperature controlled air conditioning, rear vision camera, automated route finder and electronic digital instrument displays. Many of these features are highlighted in the cars of today so in 1969 Holden was very advanced in its time when it came to design and technical engineering.

The 1969 Melbourne Motor Show debuted the Holden Hurricane and visitors were in awe of the concept car. The GMH Research and Development organisation put together a small team of engineers who worked closely with the Advance Styling Group at the Fisherman’s Bend Technical Centre.

Read the entire article 1969 Holden Hurricane Concept ‘RD 001’

Holden has just unveiled the special edition of the Commodore, a vehicle that pays tribute to Australia’s one and only Craig Lowndes. If you don’t live in Australia and you are not a big fan of V8 Supercars a.k.a. the Astralian Touring Car Championship, you’d better know that Lowndes made his debut in the racing world back in September 1994 when the 20-year-old rookie made his debut for Holden in a V8 Supercar at Sandown.

One month later he became a household name when he finished second in the well-known Bathrust 1000. After 20 years, Holden decided to celebrate Lowndes with a SS V Special Edition Commodore based on Holden’s SS V Redline Commodore and featuring some unique specifications.

According to the press release, each car is hand finished and individually numbered by trained technicians and buyers will get a framed certificate of authenticity with build plate, a Red Bull Racing private function and tour hosted by Craig Lowndes himself as well as two General Admission tickets at customer’s local 2015 V8 Supercar race and Red Bull Racing pit tour.

Read the entire article Craig Lowndes gets a SS V Special Edition Holden Commodore

The decision of General Motors to stop producing Holden vehicle in Australia by 2017 has been met with anger, sadness and resignation. However, GM has made it clear that while Holden production will cease in Australia – no thanks to high costs and strong local currency -- the brand with the "lion and stone wheel" logo will remain in the country.

"Holden is here to stay," GM Holden Chief Executive Mike Devereux remarked after announcing the planned production halt.  Easing consumer’s negative reactions to Holden’s production pullout will definitely be a public relations nightmare for GM, but the carmaker’s independent brand experts are confident that Holden will not only survive the public relations nightmare but they expect the iconic brand to be one of the most valuable assets GM has built in the country.

“The fact that they're no longer made here will cause some dissatisfaction and backlash but there'll still be a lot of people who like them," said Danny Samson, professor of management at Melbourne University. He remarked that Holden is a very well regarded brand, noting that there is “no way you'd want to throw it away."

Read the entire article GM hopes Holden will endure in Australian market despite pullout

Even though General Motors' Holden is ending its production in Australia in 2017, the brand will not see its demise soon. According to GM spokesman Greg Martin, GM plans to produce Holden-branded vehicles elsewhere and export them to Australia and New Zealand. GM will set up a new business in Australia that will take care of the sales, service and distribution of the vehicles as well as repair parts.

The closure of Holden's Elizabeth site could be bad news for Australia-built cars exported to the United States -- the newly launched Chevrolet SS rear-wheel-drive sports sedan and the Chevrolet Police Pursuit Vehicle.

The two vehicles could meet their end as the Holden-built Pontiac G8, which was well-received by performance enthusiasts, was short-lived for only 18 months and died along with the Pontiac division in 2009. Holden has been a GM unit since 1931 and has been the carmaker's global center for rear-wheel-drive engineering. Holden did the engineering work on the Camaro.

Read the entire article Holden brand to remain despite 2017 Australian pullout

General Motors Co.’s Holden unit has made a convincing argument why it should continually receive subsidies and assistance from the Australian government. Holden managing director Mike Devereux told the government’s Productivity Commission that A$150 million of annual subsidies ($136 million) result in A$33 billion of economic activity.

“That is a very good return for the economy of this country,” Devereux said. He pointed out that GM has yet to decide on its future in Australia beyond 2016, noting that GM needs to receive a certain level of assistance to make a business case viable to continue building cars in Australia.

The domestic car manufacturing operations of GM, Ford and Toyota have been undermined by the appreciating Australian dollar that jumped almost 50 percent against the US dollar from 2009 to 2012. A strong Australian dollar lessens the value of exports and thus is counterproductive for any carmaker building vehicles in the country for export.

Read the entire article Holden justifies why it needs Australian government subsidies

The unexpected strength of the Australian dollar has made Holden, the Australian unit of General Motors, incapable of competing with foreign automakers. That’s why it has been forced to lay off 18% of its workforce, or about 500 of its employees. Holden chairman and managing director, Mike Devereux, said that the company is faced with a structural shift in the market.

He said that to cope with demand better, Holden will need to reduce the output of its Cruze model by nearly one-fifth to 335 cars each day. Devereux said that since the release of the Cruze model in 2009, its price had been slashed by A$2,500 ($2,600) so that it could be competitive against foreign automakers.

For over two years, the Australian dollar has traded above parity with the U.S. dollar. It has grown stronger against the Japanese yen, making Australian producers less able to compete with Japanese companies.

Read the entire article Holden to lay off 18% of its workforce or about 500 of its employees

Holden’s previous VE-series cars were given a major facelift, resulting to the new VF-generation of its Commodore saloon, Calais V Sports wagon and Ute pickup. The VF represents a series of new technology features for the Commodore lineup. At the front, every Commodore gets a modified bumper, grille and bumper.

A new lineup of alloy wheels is also available. The rear on all three versions is carried over from the VE-series Commodore. Furthermore, the engine lineup of the previous-generation car was not revised. Two V6 engines (3.0 or 3.6-litres) and a top-of-the-line 6.0-litre V8 are available for the three Commodores.

The models are lighter, with a drop in kerbweight of about 50kg and a decline in drag co-efficient from 0.33cd to 0.30cd. With these improvements, Holden boasts that the 3.0-litre V6 could claim a fuel economy of about 35mpg. In addition, these engines can run on E85 biofuel. However, the VF-series Commodore won't be available with a diesel engine or with an engine smaller than a V6.

Read the entire article 2013 Holden Commodore SS V Ute, Calais V Sportwagon unveiled

Holden, the Australian division of General Motors, is offering its most detailed hint yet of the upcoming Chevrolet SS performance sedan. It’s been said that the Holden VF SS V concept, which is based on the standard VF Commodore, will closely preview the 2014 Chevrolet SS that is expected to make its debut in the weekend.

The automaker revealed that the 2014 Chevrolet SS will be rear-wheel-drive. It is powered by an eight-cylinder engine and it will be equipped with a chassis taken from Holden’s parts bin. Chevrolet has unveiled its NASCAR racer that provides us with glimpses of the styling that will be given to the production car.

However, this Commodore-based Holden VF SS V concept will probably offer an even clearer idea of what to expect from the latest performance sedan to come to the U.S. The Holden VF SS V displays the conventional styling for the square-edged sedan that’s anticipated from the Chevrolet SS.

Read the entire article This is the Holden VF Commodore SS V Concept

Due to poor sales of the Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon in Australia, it’s likely that they won’t make it beyond 2016. The Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon were top-selling models in the country for many decades but sadly, their sales have been falling. Holden chief Mike Devereux told News.com.au at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show that there were no concrete plans for the VF Commodore beyond 2016.

The VF Commodore will be the basis of the 2014 Chevrolet SS performance sedan. Already, Ford CEO Alan Mulally has said that it isn’t planning for production of the Australia-specific Ford Falcon to continue beyond 2016, saying that the days of “one-off cars for one-off countries” are over. Devereux said that the company aims to add a new product to its Port Elizabeth plant, and may come out with an SUV or midsize car.

However, he said that the vehicle has to be high-volume and it also has to make it to the top 10. It also said that the decision is “high stakes.” Another indication that Ford will be winding down its local manufacturing operations is the fact that Ford hasn’t asked for government support to manufacture in Australia beyond 2016.

Read the entire article Holden Commodore, Ford Falcon won’t make it beyond 2016 due to poor sales

The high price of the Australian dollar makes it more unlikely that the Holden Ute that is available in North America will be sold as a reborn Chevrolet El Camino. General Motors International Operations boss Tim Lee said during the Detroit motor show that while he supports the car, he doesn’t like the current expense of the Aussie dollar against the Greenback.

Lee said that in the U.S., the vehicle has a large amount of cache so they may import it. He said that the export potential of these cars depend on what will happen to the Aussie dollar over the next 12 to 24 months. But Lee said that there’s no business case with the Aussie dollar currently running at $1.05 against the US dollar. L

ast December, GM filed a trademark on the El Camino name and this led to a rumor that the Commodore-based utes are headed for the US. GM had responded and said that this move is only routine paperwork. When GM registered the Nomad trademark, there was speculation that the Commodore Sportwagon may also make its way to the US. T

Read the entire article Holden Ute not coming in the US as the Chevrolet El Camino due to price of Australian dollar

Holden’s engineers in Australia will design a version of the Commodore for local and/or global consumption in 2014 – possibly the last time that they will do so, according to the chief engineers who developed the Holden Commodore. OptusZoo News spoke to Chris Walton, chief executive of The Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers, who are credited for the past and present Commodore designs.

Walton said that its senior management confirms that it is “highly likely” that the 2014 Commodore would be the last one engineered in Australia.

It’s believed that Holden owner, General Motors, made this suggestion as it is hoping to use more global development and platforms in the future. GM believes that the niche product designs and building in Australia are ineffective from a cost perspective. Kim Carr, an Australian Senator, said that government officials have been meeting with GM and other automakers over the possible future investments in the country.

Read the entire article 2014 Holden Commodore might be the last one engineered in Australia

Holden is a name which provokes a lot of good memories. Always seen as innovative, the 1969 Holden Hurricane was revolutionary in its design and the propulsion system. And now, a team of former engineers and designers have banded together to restore one as a labor of love.

Years ahead of its time, the Hurricane is a two-seater sports car with rear-wheel drive and includes an incredible amount of features such as an automated route finder, automatic temperature control, electronic digital instrument display and rear-vision camera. All of which in 1969 was light years ahead of what was currently available and showed remarkable prescience on behalf of the designer Holden.

When the Hurricane debuted at the Melbourne Motor Show in 1969, jaws collectively dropped and everyone talked about it.

Read the entire article Holden restores its 1969 Hurricane Concept