When Holden Special Vehicles revealed its 2018 lineup of cars, it’s clear HSV’s purpose will shift in a world where Holden doesn’t build cars. Instead, it will help the brand expand its portfolio through right-hand-drive conversions of other GM vehicles. First up for HSV? The Chevrolet Camaro SS and the Chevrolet Silverado HD.
But, the forthcoming Silverado HD won’t mark the first time a Chevy truck made its way down under. In fact, Holden imported the K8 Suburban to Australia for four years from 1998 until 2001. Noting its on-sale timeframe, sales weren’t hot.
The Holden Suburban was built at GM’s Silao, Mexico, assembly plant with factory RHD and shipped to Australia with either a 5.7-liter gasoline-powered V8 engine or a 6.5-liter turbodiesel V-8 engine. A four-speed automatic handled shifts for either engine. The SUV was a hit at home in America, but hardly the right car for Australia at the time. Holden Commodore sales would soon boom in the early 2000s, leading to a golden age at the brand.
We can’t help but wonder if a similar modern-day proposal is in the works at HSV. Clearly, Holden and GM see a market for heavy-duty trucks, hence the Silverado HD’s scheduled availability. The Silverado and Suburban still share a platform, which means an RHD conversion wouldn’t be too difficult. At the same time, SUV sales continue to boom in Australia, much like the rest of the world.