This morning, managing director and CEO of GM’s Holden division Mike Devereux confirmed that the Holden Commodore nameplate will live past the (not-yet-released) VF Commodore model due out later this week. The all-new vehicle, according to Devereux, will be released in 2016 and will be entirely redesigned and re-engineered as compared to the VF Commodore, which itself is derived from the current VE model. The comments bring months, if not years, of fervid speculation about the future of the storied rear-wheel drive vehicle to a screeching halt.
According to Devereux, design and development of the all-new 2016 Commodore is already well underway by General Motors and Holden, with the new vehicle destined to be built alongside the next-gen Cruze (and its variants) at the GM/Holden Elizabeth plant in Adelaide.
Upon hearing the news, enthusiasts and publications alike have begun referring to the 2016 model as the “VJ”, since the VG was the 1990 Commodore ute, the VH launched in 1981, and the VF will be the model that will be unveiled later this week (while being offered until the all-new model arrives in 2016). As of this writing, the “VJ” codename hasn’t been confirmed by Holden.
Unfortunately, Devereux didn’t share any details about the vehicle architecture that will be used by the “VJ” Commodore, or about the vehicle’s drivetrain. The executive did, however, say that there was never any doubt or debate about the future of the Commodore nameplate within Holden.
“Well, I can categorically tell you that we have already begun working on the Commodore that comes after this one”, said Devereux. “The interesting thing about the fascination of the Commodore name – and frankly it’s the reason why I wanted to lay that down today to end any speculation – is that people love this nameplate, and that we are going to have another one of these.”
Australia’s GoAuto reports that design mock-ups for possible VJ proposals are already underway, with a senior member of the Holden team verifying to the publication that the design process has been in motion.
Ironically, this news comes days before Holden’s official unveiling of the VF Commodore, meaning that with the VJ, we’re discussing a vehicle that’s two generations away.
“Right now we haven’t even launched and haven’t even started building the one we call VF, so we’ll leave all that speculation for years from now”, said Devereux. “The (VF) will run to the end of 2016, and after that time we will be putting two global architectures into the plant, and one of them will underpin the next Commodore … the Commodore that replaces the VF.
And even though Holden chief declined to discuss the platform in store for the VJ Commodore, he did describe it as “fantastic”, saying, “We’re going to build a new Commodore coming after this one, we’re going to build it in Adelaide on a fantastic architecture, and you will have to wait about three years to find out what that is.”
Keeping this in mind, the only logical conclusion we can come to is that the architecture set to underpin the VJ will be a variant of GM’s new rear wheel-drive Alpha platform that currently underpins the award-winning Cadillac ATS. In the near future, Alpha will underpin the next-generation 2014 Cadillac CTS and 2015 Chevrolet Camaro.
Furthermore, the fate of the Commodore after 2016 was never up for debate, or any kind of discussion, according to Devereux. “We had absolutely no debates over it … zero debates about it.”
The news flies in the face of reports predicting the discontinuation of the Commodore nameplate by 2016.
Lastly, Mr. Devereux wouldn’t confirm speculation surrounding the production of a compact crossover alongside the next-gen Cruze in Australia. But all signs point to the vehicle being the next-generation Equinox/Captiva — which will share the D2XX architecture with the next-gen Chevrolet/Holden Cruze and Opel Astra.
And since the Holden Commodore VE will make its way over to North America as the Chevrolet SS, chances are that the upcoming Commodore VJ will also be sold as a Chevrolet across the United States and Canada; in fact, such a vehicle might even be manufactured in the United States, especially given that the next-gen Camaro — which will likely share its architecture with the 2016 Commodore — will be built in the US of A. And the possibility of a four-door Camaro is something all of us can be excited about… right?