We already know that Holden Special Vehicles is planning to continue its operations beyond 2017, when the lion and stone will cease production of the Commodore as we know it. To date, the Commodore has been HSV’s go-to vehicle, but according to a report from Motoring.com.au, the sub-brand may now turn its focus to Opel’s OPC line, which will be imported into Australia starting in 2015.
HSV boss Tim Jackson said Holden’s plans to begin selling Opel’s performance-focused Astra and Insignia OPC will probably make life more difficult for HSV. The OPC line is already as about as hopped up as it can get, leaving little meat on the bone for HSV for work with. However HSV chairman, Ryan Walkinshaw, says the brand could still add further enhancements to the cars if the demand for it exists.
“At the end of the day we’re their performance arm and if they want to make performance products under those cars then we know we can certainly do that or have a look at it,” Walkinshaw told Motoring.com.au.
“We have a very good group of designers and engineers at HSV and there is no reason why – if the business case stacks up – we wouldn’t look at some of those products and try and improve them.”
The only issue with this, like Walkinshaw points out, is the business case. HSV normally makes their money through taking an inexpensive model and making it more expensive with performance upgrades. However the OPC line is already relatively pricey, and there is only so much they can do before the models become too costly for consumers.
“There is also opportunity for us to grow away from just one model,” said Walkinshaw. “That means we might be making slightly smaller margins on each model but we are working across a broader spectrum. Potentially it could be a good business case.”
Apart from the OPC line, Walkinshaw says HSV is currently in talks about producing a performance version of the Chevrolet Cruze compact. The current generation car is on its way out and it’s presently unclear if the next-generation D2XX-based car will be imported into the region, but HSV is still considering it.
“We are still looking to see what potential opportunities there are there (with the Cruze),” Walkinshaw said. “Again, it’s got to stack up otherwise neither party will do it.”