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.
However, there has been no confirmation yet on what will be the outcome of the 250 to 300 engineering jobs that may be lost if the Holden Commodore goes somewhere else following the 2014 model year redesign.
Senator Carr said that the industry is “capital intensive” and so “decisions are made on a long-term basis.” It would be sad to see the rivalry between Ford’s Falcon and Holden’s Commodore end as their competitiveness has resulted to numerous improvements to both cars. Holden has been designing, engineering and building cars for Australians (and other markets) in Australia since 1948.
Holden revealed that the company has managed to up the value of the Commodore by putting in new features. The company on the other hand lowered the suggested retail prices of its VF Sportwagon and VF Sedan line-ups from $5,000 to as high as $9,800. Philip Brook Sales and Marketing Executive Director at Holden added that the company wants to change how people view the Commodore and playing a significant part in this will be the Evoke.
With the Evoke, the company has managed to introduce a simpler range and create an entry-level model that would clearly redefine the class. It also installs the latest innovations in technology inside this favorite family car from down under as standard. For instance there is the Auto Park Assist which greatly helps in parallel and even right angle parking.
There is also a rear view camera and parking sensors in the front and the back. Other new technology fitted inside include the high-resolution 8-inch color touch screen that comes with the company’s very own MyLink app that not only has voice integration but even has the Siri Eyes Free feature integrated to it. There are other apps that have been included like the Stitcher SmartRadio and Pandora.
Full integration of an iPod is possible. The improved voice recognition will clearly help entice Australian drivers even more. For this range opener, Holden revealed that while its recommended retail price is at $34,990, it has lowered this by as much as $5,000. Under the hood, one is likely to see that the power is derived from the 3.0-liter SIDI V6 engine.
Other features inside the Evoke are the Trailer Sway Control and the Hill Hold Control and Hill Start Assist. The electric park brake comes with an automatic release though for versions that have automatic transmission, they will also be offered the remote vehicle start.