Holden’s imported Commodore may not have a long lease on life. The brand’s chairman and managing director, David Buttner, didn’t rule out killing off the Holden Commodore as he spoke to media at the Lang Lang proving ground.
According to news.com.au, the chairman said future product decisions will involve a hard look at customer preferences, vehicle dynamics, and financial performance contribution the vehicle makes. The first and third points are key factors that we’d imagine contribute to the possibility of a new Holden Commodore. Although the Commodore remains a top seller in its segment, it’s hardly a best-seller across the board.
The brand reiterated the days of being the “Commodore Company” are long gone as it doubles down on SUVs and crossovers.
“It’s where the market is and of course they are more profitable product lines than others that we have,” Buttner said.
Holden beefed up its crossover SUV portfolio with the introductions of the Holden Equinox and the Acadia. The Equinox took over duties from the aged Captiva, while the Acadia is the brand’s new full-size offering. The Trax and Trailblazer round out the SUV portfolio and Holden left the door open to import the Blazer in the near future.
The current Commodore’s lifespan has been up for debate since the manufacturing and import process is rather tricky. Since General Motors sold Opel and Vauxhall to PSA Group two years ago, a French automaker assembles the Australian-sold sedan in a licensing contract. PSA is quickly phasing out any GM intellectual property left, which gives the current Commodore (and the Buick Regal) a murky future. GM will need to develop its own successors for production at one of its own plants.
As GM gladly swings the ax at its passenger cars in North America, prospects look dim for a successor. The only mainstream passenger car GM will build in the U.S. after it phases out other models is the Chevrolet Malibu. If the Commodore has any chance of a successor, it could be twinned with a new Malibu sold in the U.S. Holden could also potentially import a Chinese-built model should it find the Commodore a beneficial vehicle in its lineup.