GM axed the beloved Holden brand from its portfolio back in early 2020 – a decision that left many diehard fans of the Australian company disappointed. However, despite traditional Holden enthusiasts’ feelings about this decision, the automaker says backlash among the general car-buying populace in the country has been minimal.
Speaking to local Australian publication Drive.com.au in a recent interview, General Motors Special Vehicles boss Marc Ebolo said the company has so far received “a lot of positive feedback” regarding its current product portfolio, which consists of the Chevy Silverado 1500 and C8 Corvette Stingray. The company is also pleased with the sales numbers for these two nameplates, with Ebolo saying demand for the Silverado and Corvette in the country is “showing no signs of slowing down.”
“Our customers are delighted with the current product,” he added.
One major contributing factor to this positive consumer sentiment was the decision to launch Chevrolet Racing locally in Australia, Ebolo said. The new motorsports entity will be tasked with taking the Chevy Camaro racing in the hugely popular Supercars Championship starting in 2023, in which it will face off against the Ford Mustang for top honors at key races like the Bathurst 1000 and Adelaide 500.
“Fans at events are positive, Chevrolet Racing, how passionate they are, how excited they are,” Ebolo explained. “Do I have confidence that they will come along on the journey? Yes, we see a lot of passion out there.”
While Holden was put out to pasture in early 2020, the brand’s image had already been tarnished in the eyes of many enthusiasts when the Commodore moved from the rear-wheel-drive GM Zeta platform to the front-wheel-drive GM E2 platform for the 2018 model year. With this change, Holden became similar to Buick, offering consumers a range of badge-engineered products from GM’s global product portfolios. Holden’s demise was therefore unsurprising to many observers, easing the transition into the GMSV era.
Looking ahead, GMSV will expand its product portfolio by offering the off-road-ready Chevy Silverado ZR2 in Australia and New Zealand, while future electric models from Cadillac are also under consideration.