Longtime Holden executive Peter Keley will manage the new General Motors Special Vehicles venture in Australia, which will import select GM vehicles into the country following Holden’s departure this year.
GM is currently in discussions with HSV parent company Walkinshaw Group to evaluate what it would take to make the GMSV venture work in Australia. Keley has been tasked with leading the discussions and, according to WhichCar, may be in charge of GMSV if the automaker decides to go forth with the plan.
WhichCar says there are currently three strategies GM is looking at implementing with GMSV. The first and most simple plan entails GM handing over local distribution rights to Walkinshaw Group, which will then import and sell the vehicles locally on GM’s behalf. The second option is a true joint venture, which would see GM and Walkinshaw Group work together on GMSV and share any profits, losses and other risks or returns that may be associated with the business.
The third strategy, which WhichCar says makes the most sense for GM, would be for the automaker to manage the whole operation but enlist Walkinshaw to convert the vehicles to right-hand-drive once they arrive on Australian shores.
Pickup trucks and SUVs may be some of the first vehicles that come to Australia under the GMSV banner. WhichCar claims the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is a logical addition to the GMSV range, as it is already being sold in Australia by HSV. The Chevrolet Tahoe may also be a good candidate given Australian buyers’ tastes.
It’s uncertain if GM plans to ship the C8 Corvette to Australia under the GMSV banner. The automaker had previously said it would sell right-hand-drive examples of the C8 Corvette in the country through its network of Holden dealerships, but with Holden operations now set to wind down before the end of the year, those plans are off the table.
It’s not clear when the GMSV venture may officially launch in Australia – if it does at all. Current GM president and former Holden boss Mark Reuss expressed excitement over the potential opportunity earlier this year, however.
“We do believe we have an opportunity to profitably grow the specialty vehicle business and plan to work with our partner to do that,” Reuss said.