We can write countless stories about why pulling the plug on local manufacturing in Australia by GM Holden and, subsequently, killing off the locally-produced Commodore may not have been the best move. But, leave it to the locals to really hit the nail on the head.
The Motor Report recently penned a report detailing Holden’s huge problem: the Commodore.
Analyzing sales numbers tell everything one needs to know. The Holden Commodore and its variants, ute, sportwagon and Caprice are what’s keeping Australian consumers at Holden.
Holden’s year-to-date sales ring in at a solid 67,502. But, it becomes bleak when boiling it down. 22,257 of those sales are Commodores and its variants. That means, without the Commodore, Holden would have only moved 45,245 vehicles, placing it in seventh place in the sales war.
The once booming automaker begins to look pressed for time to find a formidable replacement for the vehicle so many hold near and dear. But, unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
While Holden continues to take care of damage control, Opel has been busy engineering the next Opel Insignia, which has been tapped to become the 2018 Holden Commodore. It will be front-wheel drive, ride on GM’s E2XX platform and it will not offer a V8 engine.
We’re not sure who has conducted Holden’s marketing research, but it seems blatantly backwards.
Combine this with a weak Aussie dollar, and it almost seems Stefan Jacoby, GM Vice President of International Relations, made a knee-jerk reaction. With the dollar expected to remain weak in the foreseeable future, Australia has quickly become a favorable export market once again.
Holden has reiterated on multiple occasions there will be a new, rear-wheel drive, V8-powered vehicle to join its lineup in the future. But it won’t be the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro, and the 2016 Corvette Stingray’s hopes are dim.
Could GM have a trick up its sleeve? It’s possible.
But it won’t be a Commodore.