Holden is planning on turning out the full capacity of 147,000 Zeta-based vehicles at its Elizabeth plant in South Australia. Part of the production increase can be attributed to the Pontiac G8's impending arrival, but there have been cagey references to importing the VE Ute, which shares the VE platform with the G8. Bob Lutz made mention of a desire to bring the Ute to the US a while back, and now GM's Asia Pacific President Nick Reilly has made a couple of cagey references to GoAuto, fueling the suspicion that we'll see a VE with a bed out back here in the US.
While discussing the Elizabeth plant's ability to meet production volume without adding a third shift, Reilly referred to US exports by saying "If they start to sell much better than we anticipated, then we would have to look at doing something else and clearly a third shift would be a possibility..." They? Hmm. When the follow-up question about just what he meant by they, Reilly sort-of clarified by further stating: "We haven't necessarily announced all the programs we have at the moment." The not-quite-confirmed multiple flavors of VE headed for the US, along with Bob Lutz's wanting to bring the Ute here as something other than a Chevy could mean that those wishing for a return of the El Camino might get their wish, minus the name.
Thanks for the tip, Ben!