The rocky road to the Holden VE Sportwagon

You'd think after looking at it that the Holden VE Sportwagon was one of those no-brainer vehicles that was a production lock from the moment it was a twinkle in some designer's eye. According to GoAuto, that wasn't exactly the case. The outgoing VZ wagon was a fleet darling, beloved for its exceptional cargo capacity. That added space came courtesy of the same LWB architecture used for the Caprice and Statesman sedans. In a departure from tradition (the wagons had been built on long-wheelbase platforms for decades), the VE proposal was based on the shorter underpinnings used for the Commodore sedan. With that comes reduced capacity and a total package that's less attractive to fleets. After ultimately seeing a clay model of the car presented in Sydney, Holden execs greenlit the project anyway.

And that's where we, the US and Canada, come in. One of the factors that pushed the VE wagon into production was its obvious export appeal. No agreements or contracts are in place, but according to GoAuto, Holden sees exports of 10,000 per year as being the goal, and North America the biggest target market outside of Australia and new Zealand. Meanwhile, Holden feels it can mitigate the expected downturn in fleet sales at home by leveraging the VE's great looks and sporty practicality to sell more profitable examples to consumers, especially ones looking to get out of SUVs. Assuming the stars line up and the car comes over to the US as hoped, it would be after the arrival of the Ute, which appears to be next in line according to the GoAuto piece. There's a lot more to the article, which is interesting, wide-ranging, and worth a read. As for the VE Wagon, well, this Autoblogger's all for it. It's a hell of a lot cooler than the '87 Pontiac Safari my parents had, and that I learned to drive in. Let's leave the wood stickers off this one, though, okay?

[Source: GoAuto]

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