General Motors has confirmed it will go ahead with its plan to launch a ‘General Motors Special Vehicles’ or ‘GMSV’ sub-brand in Australia following the departure of the Holden brand.
According to CarAdvice.com.au, GMSV will be officially established in Australia before the end of the year, shortly after Holden operations wind down in a few months’ time. GMSV products will be sold through a network of about 40 to 60 dealerships nationally in Australia – most of which will be converted Holden dealerships.
Spearheading GMSV’s launch will be the C8 Corvette, with the mid-engine sports car is expected to go on sale in Australia in right-hand-drive form in late 2021 or early 2022. GM had previously intended to sell the right-hand-drive C8 Corvette through select Holden dealerships starting in late 2020 or early 2021, but those plans were derailed once Holden was axed earlier this year.
The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 will also make a quick and easy transition from an HSV product to a GMSV product and will also be sold via GMSV showrooms in the near future. The Silverado 1500 is already sold in Australia via Walkinshaw Group’s HSV operation, which imports the trucks from North America and converts them to right-hand-drive for local distribution. This process will remain mostly the same going forward.
Joining the light-duty Chevrolet Silverado 1500 in 2021 will be the larger and more capable Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD. GMSV will eventually expand its lineup beyond the Corvette and Silverado, but CarAdvice.com.au says its focus will remain on these two “icon” vehicles at first. Other models that have been touted as potential GMSV products include the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon. The new GMC Hummer EV and certain Cadillac vehicles are also said to be under consideration for GMSV.
The Chevrolet Camaro is notably absent from the GMSV lineup. This is likely because the Camaro would not be competitively priced with the Ford Mustang GT if it were sold via GMSV due to import costs and expenses related to converting it from left-hand-drive to right-hand-drive. HSV previously tried doing this, selling the 2019 Chevrolet Camaro 2SS in the region as the HSV Camaro, but with a price tag of $89,000 AUD, it wasn’t winning over very many buyers. The Mustang GT, by comparison, starts at $63,690 AUD in the country.
In addition to those working for GMSV, GM will retain about 200 employees in Australia to provide parts and aftersales support for existing owners in the region. The vast majority of its dealerships will also shut down, though some will remain open as dedicated service centers.