Holden design relevance continues to carry on. Starting with the Buick Avenir concept shown at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, and the Chevrolet Bolt concept, Holden design will continue to grow in importance as the brand winds down its manufacturing base, and transition into a national sales brand, with a heavy reliance on imported Opels.
The latest design to stem from Aussie roots is the Chinese-spec 2016 Chevrolet Malibu. The design and engineering was largely taken in by GM Holden’s Australian technical center ahead of its production at the Jingjiao plant in China.
The Holden involvement in the Chinese 2016 Chevrolet Malibu has been deemed part of a “work share” program, according to a General Motors representative, where various GM designs and engineering projects are tackled by various global departments, relevant to the region.
The debut of this Chinese-spec Malibu will follow the global 2016 Chevrolet Malibu, to be debuted tomorrow at the 2015 New York International Auto Show. Strangely enough, Australia will not receive the Chinese-spec version, which is based on the current car, and instead will receive the all-new Malibu with a Holden badge attached. Presumably, the car will be built in South Korea for easy export.
As you can see from the photos, provided by GoAuto, the Chinese Malibu receives a heavily reworked front fascia, featuring slimmer headlights, and a gaping lower grille, akin to the previous generation Toyota Camry. The rear ditches the “Camaro inspired” taillights for a more sleek looking one-piece unit as well.
Powertrains are likely to carry over from the previous car, and GM is banking heavily on the reworked style to increase the Malibu’s marketshare. The Malibu is currently ranked 32nd of China’s top-selling sedans in 2014.
Holden is also said to give major input on inbound Opels from Germany to ensure the cars are tailored specifically for the Australian market.