Holden intends to transform the Commodore into a more fuel-efficient vehicle by utilizing aluminum body panels to reduce weight and improving its aerodynamic performance. According to Holden, these design changes will reduce fuel consumption by more than seven percent.
This is the second time that Holden has received cash through Australia's Green Car Innovation Fund. Holden received $149 million over three years to ready its facility for production of the Chevrolet Cruze.
[Source: General Motors]
Holden welcomed the announcement by the Federal Government today awarding $39.8 million from the Green Car Innovation Fund to bring fuel-saving innovations to Australia's favourite car.
The co-investment funding, part of the Government's New Car Plan for a Greener Future, will allow Holden to develop a range of fuel efficiency and carbon emission reduction technologies and features for future Commodore models.
Together the innovations, including aluminium body panels to reduce vehicle weight and improved aerodynamic performance, are designed to help reduce fuel consumption by more than 7 per cent. This reduction in fuel consumption would save around 3.6 million litres of fuel and reduce CO2 emissions from the Commodore fleet by around 9,000 tonnes a year.
Senator the Hon. Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, made the announcement today together with Holden Chairman and Managing Director Mike Devereux in the North Body Shop of Holden's Vehicle Operations (HVO) in Elizabeth, South Australia.
Mr Devereux said the co-investment funding was critical for the Australian automotive industry to compete globally and to continue to bring affordable new technologies and innovations to locally-made cars like Commodore.
"Holden continues to be one of the country's largest investors in research and development and to invest in the future of automotive design, engineering and high-tech manufacturing in Australia," Mr Devereux said.
"The assistance from the Federal Government will enable Holden to bring Australian-made firsts in fuel-efficiency and weight saving to market and to secure local jobs in the broader automotive industry."
Mr Devereux said Holden worked to continuously improve the environmental performance of Commodore with new fuel-saving technologies like Active Fuel Management on V8 models and Spark Ignition Direct Injection (SIDI) on V6 powered vehicles.
"The success of Holden's product development program, and co-funded programs like the new locally-made Cruze, shows new vehicles and technologies have to be affordable and return real-world savings for the environment and for Australian drivers," he said.
"Holden is also continuing to develop other low emission and alternative fuel solutions in our Ecoline portfolio including a dedicated LPG Commodore and E85 flex-fuel capability on the 3.6 litre SIDI V6 engine later this year."
This is the second grant Holden has received through the Green Car Innovation Fund. Holden also received $149 million over three years to bring a small car into production at HVO, making Cruze the only small car built in Australia.
Cruze was Holden's largest engineering and manufacturing program since VE Commodore and enabled Holden to return to a second shift at HVO in 2010.
"The assistance through the Green Car Innovation Fund for these two important locally-made vehicles has been critical to the success of Holden and the Australian industry through a very challenging economic period," Mr Devereux said.
"With a great product portfolio, including efficient, locally-made cars like Cruze and Commodore, we're confident about the future of Holden and the viability of our local automotive industry."
 Figures calculated based on fuel consumption and projected CO2 emission savings across the fleet, including petrol and LPG Commodore vehicles, over the program period, based on ABS published annual average driving distance of approximately 12,000km/year.