A vehicle theme drawn by a Holden designer is the first-runner for an undisclosed future General Motors model developed for an international audience, according to Australia’s GoAuto. The design is part of GM’s global competitive theming/design process, which welcomes all of The General’s design studios around the world (in the United States, Europe, South Korea, Brazil, China and Australia) to submit design suggestions for vehicles developed around the world, thereby increasing the pool of designs from which GM can pick. As such, the method improves the chance of picking a great design, with the winning theme then approved by GM Vice President of global design Ed Welburn. The approved design is then realized by one of the studios (known as the “homeroom”), although not necessarily the one that was responsible for the initial theme.
In February, director of design at GM International Operations Mike Simcoe told GoAuto that one specific design submitted by Holden designers for a future product had a good chance of receiving the green light for the basis of a production vehicle. The vehicle is said to be in the planning stages, putting it years away from production.
If Holden’s design submission ends up being chosen as the theme for the upcoming vehicle, it doesn’t mean that the production car will be brought to production by GM/Holden. Mr. Simcoe described a process in which the designer responsible for the winning theme is sent to the studio that gets tasked with execution the production design.
Of note, days ahead of the official unveiling of the revised 2013 VF Commodore, Holden chief Mike Devereux confirmed that Holden was working on the next-generation Commodore that will go into production in Australia in 2016 as a 2017 model, thereby quelling rampant speculation that the nameplate will disappear after the VF generation.
Reports have suggested that the next-gen Commodore will be available in global markets, possibly as a Buick Grand National/GNX in the United States. Such a vehicle will likely be the rumored replacement of the Buick Regal (and possibly the Opel Insignia).
The GM Authority Take
Could the potentially-successful design theme submitted by Holden as mentioned by Mr. Simcoe is, in fact, the next-gen Commodore.