After much deliberation from Holden, the Australian automotive brand has decided to keep the storied Commodore name for its new full-size sedan set to debut in 2018. This is a move that was not taken lightly by executives, after realizing the devastating effects ending local manufacturing has cost the brand in terms of customer confidence.
The move was announced by Holden Executive Director of Sales, Peter Keley.
“The next-generation large car we have selected from GM’s global portfolio is worthy of the iconic Commodore nameplate,” Keley said.
Continuing his statement on the matter, Keley was outspoken on the vehicle Holden has a pivotal role in developing saying:
When it arrives in 2018, our new large car will honour Commodore’s heritage and support a long and successful future for Holden in Australia and New Zealand. Holden and Commodore aren’t going anywhere, they will remain pillars of Australian motoring for many years to come.
Customers have confirmed that retaining the Commodore nameplate is the right decision for Holden.
Through the process of selecting the vehicle, we put to customers a number of possible criteria to better understand what they felt was important for the car to be competitive in the Australian market. And, of course, whether it deserved the Commodore nameplate.
Ultimately, the overwhelming response from customers was that Holden should continue the Commodore nameplate into the future with our next-generation large car.
This is big news for the brand who is currently seeing sales drop 5.3 percent since announcing the closure of its local assembly. Previously, moved by customer disconcert, it was rumored the new sedan poised to replace the Holden Commodore would simply be badged as the Insignia, stemming from the development of the vehicle with Germany’s Opel.
Across 17 different customer research sessions, including current Commodore owners and non-owners, consumers wildly supported retaining the Commodore name.
“The vehicle will be tuned and honed by Holden engineers and technicians at our world-class Lang Lang Proving Ground in Victoria, ensuring it performs in Australian conditions and to Australian expectations. Right now, our Vehicle Performance team is helping shape the next-generation Commodore for Australian customers” continued Keley in his official statement on the news.
Stefan Jacoby, GM’s Vice President of Internation Operations, also commented on the news since he last went public on “underestimating” the closure of Holden’s manufacturing leg. He briefly stated the new Commodore will “compare very favorably or improve upon” the current VF Commodore.
Some things still are left to the unknown, though. We highly doubt the next Commodore will be rear-wheel drive, as reports suggest the Opel Insignia will be a very close cousin to the new Commodore. But, we may be surprised after the rear-wheel drive flagship designed and built by Holden debuted in Detroit this month in form of the Buick Avenir.
We know the next-generation Commodore has been being developed by Opel for some time, and Mark Reuss confirmed the excitement felt at the launch of the Buick Avenir saying, “I think the brand is absolutely ready for this.” The brand he’s speaking of is Buick.
We wouldn’t be horribly surprised if there are a few clay models donning the Holden badge somewhere in Oz. One thing you can count on is the absence of a V8 engine, as either the Corvette or Camaro are headed Down Under to fulfill those duties.