How Will Holden Shutdown Effect Aussie-Built Chevrolets?
As we recently reported, General Motors is shutting down its Australian Holden branch. The initial reaction is likely spite from fans of the Aussie performance sedan-builder, but further examination reveals questions for the fate of three Australian-built Chevy vehicles. The Chevrolet Caprice PPV is currently in use as a police vehicle throughout the country. It is GM’s latest police offering, hoping to score business to replace the discontinued Ford Crown Victoria. The Caprice PPV has been offered since 2010, and is meant to be sold to police departments for several years to come. Its current place of assembly is Elizabeth, South Australia and is based on the (presumably outgoing) Holden Commodore (lead image). PHOTOS: See More of the Australian-built Holden VF Commodore SS-V
Another vehicle based on the Commodore is the Chevrolet SS. The new Chevy rear-wheel drive performance sedan is set to debut this year, with Chevrolet’s new LT1 V8 under the hood. But what will become of these two Holden based sedans?
PHOTOS: See More of the 2012 Chevrolet Caprice PPV
In a statement from General Motors: “The Chevrolet SS is just arriving in dealerships and off to a good start, and the Caprice Police Pursuit Vehicle continues to be well received by government agencies across the country. We’ll continue to build the SS and the Caprice Police Pursuit Vehicle in Australia and have nothing to announce at this moment about future models.”
PHOTOS: See More of the 2014 Chevrolet SS
The SS will not be produced in the same numbers as originally projected. Chevrolet said it would first build between 15,000 and 20,000 vehicles, but it now appears only 2,000 will be built.
What they did not mention in the statement was the long-term fate of the forthcoming Chevrolet Colorado. The new Chevy mid-size pickup truck is going to be built in Wentzville, Missouri, but it is based on the Australian Holden Colorado pickup truck, which went on sale in 2012. A major factor in making the Colorado a viable debut for Chevy was the fact that it was already based on an existing Australian vehicle. Without Holden in the mix, it puts the onus on the Chevrolet version of the truck to be a serious success in order for there to be a replacement vehicle when this generation has run its course.
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For the immediate future, it looks like the impact will not be that great. Chevrolet will build less versions of the SS than expected, but when development of the next generation for these vehicles comes along, many questions will arise from the fact there is not an Australian rear-wheel drive sedan and four-wheel drive pickup which which Chevy can share the cost. For now, lets just be glad that all three vehicles will still be around of the immediate future.