• Sep 16, 2007
Before you start sweating, rest assured Holden's VE Commodore will be heading Stateside as the Pontiac G8, but as for other models such as the two-door Ute, things are looking in doubt. GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz is a key backer of bringing the Ute to the U.S. but revealed at this week's Frankfurt Auto Show that the export program could be in doubt because of the strong Australian dollar. Either the car-based pickup would be priced out of the market or GM would have to subsidize it, something that's not going to happen, Lutz informed.

Plans to import roughly 50,000 Pontiac G8s are unchanged but the margins made on the car will be very slim, meaning there's no room to add a variant priced below it. This will come as a major blow to Holden staffers. Almost half of its annual production of 147,000 cars is exported and gaining a foothold in the lucrative U.S. markets has been one of its key goals over the past decade.

[Source: Drive.com.au]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 15 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm of the thinking that it's not so much the strong Australian Dollar, but rather the weak American one.

      I Remember when you'd get Canadian coins back as change at the gas station and feel cheated. Not so much anymore, as the Canadian dollar and the USD are close to equal value. ($1.03 Canadian = $1.00 USD).

      Yeah, this is only one currency:currency comparison, but I'm fairly certain it's not an isolated occurrence; what with current inflation rates.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yes, this is certainly not something to blame on the Aussie's as the US dollar is at fifteen year low...I wonder why (rhetorical question)?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Exporters to the USA are getting concerned. There is a large consumer base in the US and those consumers can't afford the same anymore. Holden is just a small bit of it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why don't they do the same as dodge sprinter. Ship the vehicle in kits and assemble over here. Find a plant that is closing and use that sight. Maybe ship the car without front fenders and without interior. I figure GM would want to chevy-ize or american-ize just to change it a little. Even though it's just fine as is. Just like they do with the mercedes sprinter made into dodge sprinter.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "The world doesn't need another El Camino. "

      There aren't any new El Caminos and the world don't "need" more cars. If the "world" wants a practical pickup, this would feed the niche'.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Crunked Up "How, pray tell, do you consider a 2 seat car with a light weight frame & a big V-8 practical? "

        V8? The article made no mention of the V8 but did say V6. You don't need a big clumsy pickup truck to go get a sheet of plywood, the new drawer chest or the odds and ends for the gardener. The El Camino and Al Rancho sold for decades until pickups got more comfortable and became the macho fad.
        • 7 Years Ago
        @ Barney

        "There aren't any new El Caminos and the world don't "need" more cars. If the "world" wants a practical pickup, this would feed the niche."

        How, pray tell, do you consider a 2 seat car with a light weight frame & a big V-8 practical? The El Camino died in the U.S. years ago for good reason. This would only fill a niche for someone nostalgic about the El Camino.

        GM needs to leave this one to the Aussies & concentrate on improving their image here. Look how well the SSR sold. This my friend, would be another SSR.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Hi Hilly. In North America few need a workhorse. It's mostly for show that people buy the big pickup truck. The many that need a pickup for light duty, will "hopefully" buy the ute. I recall seeing these trucks in Australia in the early eighties. I understood the practicality and glad to see you haven't gone for "show only". Perhaps the American public will too.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Our currency is dropping like a rock, and it makes all imported goods more expensive.

      The weak US dollar is the reason the Saturn Astra imported from Belgium will not make a profit no matter how many units GM sells. It's also the reason the Pontiac G8 will not have a high profit margin. Like this news says, the US currency situation will likely kill future Holden exports.

      GM's other option is tooling US plants to assemble these models like it has the new Saturn Vue. The new Vue is based on a Daewoo and virtually the same as the Opel counterpart assembled and sold in Europe. GM could do this with Holden cars as well. Despite that put me in the camp that doesn't want to see a Holden with GM US switchgear, radio headunits and other parts in it.

      The currency situation is especially bad news for Holden as they depend on exports to sustain their business. That's why exporting the new Commodore and all it's variants are vital to them and GM. If Holden cannot open more markets for their products GM will end up subsidizing that operation entirely.
        • 7 Years Ago
        If GM would get their head out of their collective a$$ and finally build a competent, reasonably-priced RWD platform in the US, they wouldn't need to worry about the cost of producing these Holdens. They'd quite likely get my dollars too.
      • 7 Years Ago
      are these utes available in canada? i swear i saw one the other day.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Leave the Ute down under. The world doesn't need another El Camino.
      • 7 Years Ago
      500, the upcoming Camaro is built off the new Holden Commodore/Ute's structure and is being produced in a North American plant. They're also going to make a new Impala out of it as well and produce it here.

      That doesn't actually mean they will look or drive like a Holden though. Keep in mind GM produces the Malibu, G6 and Aura off the guts of the Opel Vectra here but none of them really look or drive like the Vectra they asseemble in Europe.
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