Ford Takes A Swipe At Holden Over Latter’s Decision To Continue ‘Commodore’ Name4
Ford and Holden have both ended production locally in Australia, which has caused sour feelings towards the marques for years. However, Ford has notoriously faired better in the market.
And the brand took a shot at Holden over its continued use of the “Commodore” name for its large car offering. Speaking to Motoring, Ford Australia marketing chief Danni Winter said the brand is “thrilled” it chose not to continue local nameplates after it ended production in 2016.
Specifically, the “Territory” name remained in the cards for the SUV’s replacement, called the Endura. The Endura is what North Americans know as the Edge.
Although Winter did not call Holden out by name, it’s clear she targeted the long-time rival.
“Having reflected on some other OEMs and what they have done I think that was definitely the right decision for us,” she said of ditching the Territory name and leaving it to the history books. While many fans remember the locally built Falcon sedan, the Territory SUV was also a homegrown ordeal. It was the only SUV ever designed, engineered, developed, and manufactured in Australia—and it was a massive success for the brand.
She added that watching someone else, implying Holden, go down the path of retaining an iconic name reinforced Ford made the right decision to call the Territory replacement the Endura.
Fans have remained rather sour toward the VF Commodore’s replacement: the ZB Commodore, a rebadged Opel Insignia, or what we know as the Buick Regal. Unlike the previous car, the new Commodore is not a sedan, does not offer rear-wheel drive or a V8 engine. Sales have remained dismal, but the Australian market has also continued to shift toward crossovers and SUVs, much like other parts of the world.
The Commodore’s future remains in question. GM has a contract for PSA Group—Opel’s new owner—to build the Regal and Commodore for only a few years. After that, it will be on GM to build its own sedan as a replacement. And judging by the automaker’s attitude towards passenger sedans, it seems more unlikely than ever we’ll see another Regal, which could spell the end of the Commodore, too.
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Dunno which drongo was dreamin’ on this idea. Probably one of the 9 GM-H CEO’s in the last 3years. Hard to tell which one.
Y’know, right from Holden’s time in 1948 with the new 48-215, Detroit has over-ruled locals starting with Hartnett himself. He wanted integrated fenders, we got an old humpy design because Bill Mitchell didn’t want Australia to have a modern design. Yup, even in the 1940’s Americans thought of us merely as crocodile-botherers with no understanding of “modernity”.
The first Holden fully designed in Australia? The VE of 2006, after nearly 60 years of Detroit over-ruling. The VE was the most successful business run in Australia outside of coal mining. Those weird headlight-thrusters on the 1965 HD? Mitchell again. Mitchell was great for the Corvette Sting Ray and Manta Ray, but his attitude to those “below” him wasn’t good at all. There are 1st-person recorded histories from designers such as Phil Zmood of how concept cars and styling bucks were made in Detroit, boxed up, and sent to Adelaide for local Aussie’s to present as their own work. The 1969 Hurricane was knocked-up in Detroit by Ken Genest, and then Don Daharsh was sent with it to Adelaide. During presentations at Aussie shows, Daharsh was never mentioned, and the concept was called “an Australian Concept Car”
After the disaster of the 1996-7 Ford Taurus in Australia, watching Holden pull the same idiocy and even worse tagging it with a multi-billion-backed marketed brand “Commodore” on this bum-dragger, of course Henry’s brigade is laughing! Not only at Holden, but also in relief that they’re not the only ones this stupidly foolish. Aussie lingo comes true – Commode Door – Dunny Door.
What should have happened? Look at Mustang sales in Australia. They literally can’t order enough ships to bring them in. The Camaro6 and ATS tooling should have had RHD engineered in from the start. Whose fault was that Mark Reuss? FFS, Reuss headed Holden in 2008-9 right when these sort of decisions were needed. Now HSV needs to add $30k over an equivalent Stang just to get a superseded model with zero extra herbs on showroom floors to stop the floods entering Ford dealers.
It’s not too late. Holden is revered, and it will take a lot more than where we are now to kill it. However, it is crunch time now. The ATS tooling in Lansing will be replaced soon. Ship it to Elizabeth South Australia and add HSV’s new RHD tooling. Make the old ATS-1 in 4-door and 2-door bodies, and call them the ”Torana” and leave the poisoned Commodore name behind. Then treat this car like Porsche treats the 911 and Chev treats the Corvette, to permanent unending development. That would be a car Australia could use to take on the world and truly satisfy Aussie customers with a product they can be proud of.
And also replace the Commodore name with the Kingswood name for a new, Omega- or Alpha-based car, or use the Gen 3 CTS tooling, and make more tooling based on the CTS tooling for wagons, 2 doors, and utes. Kingswood came before Commodore, surely it could now succeed it. Also bring down the CT6 tooling from Hamtramck for the Caprice, as they converted that plant for the GMC “Hummer” EV, and the only place the CT6 is being manufactured now is China, of all places. Give both unending development too. Also make ute and wagon tooling with the ATS tooling.
Neither company have done Australia any favours and does it come as any surprise that they would criticize? The Territory was a great concept, but was also riddled with problems and not the icon the Falcon was so no surprise there that they’d dump it. The Commodore name should go, maybe they should have stuck to the Insignia name plate. Aussie’s indentify more with Europe than the US and as far as the Mustang goes, there’s lots of used ones on Carsales. What does that tell you?