General Motors recently confirmed it will close its decades-old Holden division and exit the Australian market, but trademark filings suggests it wants to maintain a limited presence Down Under. It's allegedly joining forces with a local tuner to import a handful of right-hand drive models and distribute them across the nation.
Australia's patent office received requests the protect the names GMSV (General Motors Specialty Vehicles) and SV Specialty Vehicles on June 19 and July 3, respectively. Trademark filings never guarantee a carmaker's intent, but enthusiast website GM Authority learned GMSV was formed to represent General Motors in Australia once Holden disappears. It's believed to be a joint venture with well-known Holden tuner Walkinshaw Group.
GMSV will initially distribute right-hand-drive variants of Chevrolet's Corvette, Camaro and Silverado. Putting these vehicles in the hands of buyers will require shipping them halfway across the world, but executives hope their efforts will pay off. Australia's new-car market looks a lot like America's in the sense that pickups reign supreme; the bestselling new vehicle there is the Toyota Hilux, a Tacoma-sized truck available only in overseas markets. And, Australian enthusiasts still have a soft spot for rear-wheel drive cars with a big V8 under the hood (or rather, the bonnet). They've also got thousands of miles of straight, wide roads to enjoy them on.
Looking ahead, GMSV could distribute other General Motors-built products on the Australian market. Odds are that anything it sells will be, as its name implies, a specialty vehicle. It wasn't formed to peddle the Chevrolet Spark.
Although the report is plausible, General Motors and Walkinshaw Group haven't commented on it, and they haven't publicly announced plans to jointly establish GMSV. Additional details will emerge in the coming weeks, though we suspect Chevrolet will fill American orders for the Corvette before sending the model to Australia.