• Jul 15, 2009
Ever since General Motors announced this spring that it was killing the Pontiac brand as part of its restructuring, fans of the Holden-developed G8 sedan have been clamoring to save it as a Chevrolet. After company officials repeatedly said over the past two months that no such thing would happen, Bob Lutz re-lit the fire last week in one of his first pronouncements after un-retiring. Lutz proclaimed that the G8 would indeed become a new Chevrolet Caprice.

During our first drive of the new Buick LaCrosse this week, we had the opportunity on one of the legs to ride with GM CEO Fritz Henderson, and we pressed him for more details on the Caprice plan. Unfortunately it turns out Henderson brought his portable fire extinguisher with him, telling us:
We've been looking at it for police applications. As for whether or not it's broader than police applications, I am not a believer in re-branding and re-badging. We've been talking about in terms of potential police applications and we'll leave it at that."
Henderson also threw a soaking wet blanket on the idea of adding production to Oshawa alongside the Camaro, saying that the cars will continue to be sourced from Australia. So, for the moment, it looks like Zeta sedan fans will probably have to be content with taking a Blues Brothers approach to the problem: Buying their next car as a decommissioned black-and-white.

[Image: GoAuto]


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  • 36 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      is that a confederate flag on the side of the cruisers???

      anyway i like the g8, hope they bring it back as a chevy production model
      • 5 Years Ago
      I love the idea of buying cheap, well-maintained, and beefed-up ex-cop cars, but I couldn't bring myself to buy a sweet sports sedan with a slushbox. If they do grow a brain and offer it to us as a Chevy, it would be nice if they'd offer the 6-speed with the v-6 or the regular v-8. Just use the same engine/tranny choices as the Camaro. There you go Fritz. I just did your job for you.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Aloysius: You just the nail on the head. Chrysler got it right with the 300. They sell more of the 6 cylinder than 8 cylinder 300 s. There is no mistaking the SRT 8 for the garden variety 300 either.

        Pontiac would have done better numbers if they also offered the G8 as a six cylinder.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Looks like GM is running out its G8 contract with Holden by reconfiguring the order to police cars. Surely the coppers aren't stupid enough to place fleet orders without a long term, domestic supply commitment,

      Civilians will buy Zeta Chevy Caprices like crazy. It is the only new RWD domestic car in 20-years. GM can produce it on the Oshawa Camaro line much cheaper than in Australia and importing it.

      The New GM really isn't much different than the old GM.
      • 5 Years Ago
      ... until they ditch Big Brother.
      • 5 Years Ago
      How in the world is selling the a car at Pontiac then moving it to Chevrolet and putting bowties NOT rebadging?

      Fritz is wrong about many things, but he is right on this point. Selling the Holden Commodore as a Pontiac and then as a Chevrolet is rebadging. The car is the same, just the brand is different.

      Also, Holden has been working feverishly on a police version of the Commodore that they want to sell in America since GM pulled the rug out from under them this past winter. Those police cars are Pontiac G8s. Now with this news trickling out if you put the pieces together it looks like GM is going to let Holden do it under the Chevrolet brand. This is probably a police/fleet only deal, if it even happens.

      That's a big if because I can't see how buying thousands of Australian cars for police and fleet service to prop up their business with US taxpayer money can be palpable when US autoworker jobs are being shed left and right.

      If you guys love the G8 so much why don't you go out and actually buy one? Many dealers are giving them away now.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Because there's no Pontiac.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think Fritz and Bob are just playing good cop/bad cop with us. This whole back and forth - we're bringing the G8 back as a Chevy... no we're not - is generating a huge amount of buzz for GM. Notice neither of them definitively says one way or another. Bob says they are "looking at doing it" and "it would be too good a platform to waste" and Fritz counters "I am not a believer in re-branding and re-badging" ... "let's leave it at that".

      I don't believe for a moment that a decision one way or another hasn't already been made and these two definitely know what that decision is. I would tend to lean toward believing that they are bringing the car back as a Chevy. I think they are waiting until the current inventory of G8s is sold before they announce it, for the same reason manufacturers don't release details on a new model until the last minute. They don't want people to wait for something better.

      Pontiac is a dead brand and I've already read one post on a G8 forum where someone said they are going to wait for the Chevy version. Also, sales of G8s are starting to pick up as people rush to get one before they are gone. This is especially true in Canada were the remaining inventory is less than 100 cars and they are all on dealer's lots. Dealers who have then aren't budging much from MSRP and are not willing to transfer them to other dealers.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sounds like to me that there may already be a power struggle between Lutz & Henderson.

      Unless Henderson is just trying to keep the consumer Caprice under wraps for now.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Just call it the Chevy Commodore.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Is this the result of gov't ownership? Pretty soon Camaros will only be available to the military and all the Corvettes will get seized up by the CIA!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Damn... a police cruiser that will outrun AND out-handle most cars on the road. What will the street ricers do?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Can't all cop cars do that? AFAIK they aren't the same Crown Vics we can buy.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Simple.

        Bigger fart cans.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Crown Vics can't... They're heavier and not as powerful as the really good sports cars. Of course, those aren't "Most of the cars on the road" either. But speed doesn't really matter - Motorola is the prime deterrent with cops. You can outrun one Crown Vic but not the radio.
      • 5 Years Ago
      That's a big crock of s###, if he's not a fan of rebadging then why has he been working at GM since 1984? From that period on, GM made some of the industry's most blatant rebadges. With hypocrites like him at the helm, GM is going nowhere and will continue to fault on its promises and never stick with a plan as it has done so for last three decades.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Oh great--not only is the public denied, but now cops will have the G8? It's the worse case scenario!
        • 5 Years Ago
        At least I can stare at the Caprice when I'm getting my ticket...
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