Commodore not part of the plan

Riley Riley

Exciting news the Camaro is heading our way along with the big, boofy Silverado pickup, with HSV signed up to do the conversions.

But it’s what neither Holden nor HSV is saying that is of greater interest.

That Commodore, or should I say the car that will henceforth be known as the Commodore, does not figure in any plans for HSV.

Did it ever?

And, before you start getting too excited, neither Camaro nor the Silverado is going to be cheap.

Camaro is tipped to start from around $85,000 while the price of Silverado is sure to be a lot further north, but will almost certainly undercut any offerings from Queensland-based converter Performax.

Mind you, those kind of prices haven’t scared off the HSV ‘must-haves’ in the past.

No word on the Holy Grail of Chevies – the fire-breathing Corvette – but the fact the next one will be built for left and right-hand drive is promising (bet it’s at the top of the shopping list).

We should also point out, they’re not talking about the ZL1 Camaro, but the less powerful, naturally aspirated 2SS – powered by a 6.2-litre direct injection V8 with 340kW and 615Nm.

Even those figures could change once the emissions boys get their hands on it.

If you were wondering what was going to become of HSV without a rear-wheel drive Commodore, now you know.

But neither vehicle will wear the HSV badge.

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Silverado . . . a ‘full-size’ ute.

The other big news is the re-introduction of the Chevrolet brand with its iconic “bowtie” badge.

Holden’s head honcho Mark Bernhard said the existing HSV dealer network will be progressively updated to carry the Chevrolet ‘bowtie’ logo and branding.

“The DNA of both of these vehicles is pure Chevrolet and we’re going to honour that,” he said.

The focus of HSV’s involvement will be design, engineering, manufacturing and marketing – all across a broader range of products.

HSV boss Tim Jackson said the deal marked a new era for HSV and Holden.

“HSV is moving beyond simply ‘hotting up’ existing models and customers will see two product streams from HSV over the next few years,” he said.

At this stage HSV’s  engineering involvement starts and stops with conversion of the vehicles to right-hand drive.

You get the feeling though that they could carry “HSV enhanced” on the back.

Jackson said the first new HSV product stream will be what customers have traditionally expected from the company, based on vehicle enhancement and extending vehicle capabilities to become a true HSV.

“It is important that we continue to play a key role in enhancing Holden’s image in the market place, and potential customers can expect to see us going to work on enhanced products which are a natural extension of the Holden range – the SportsCat is a great example of this approach,” he said.

SportsCat by the way is a Colorado that has undergone some subtle HSV improvement, coming to a dealership near you soon.

“Some of our traditional customers will expect more power, and if the opportunities present themselves, we will look at powertrain enhancements where it makes sense,” Jackson said.

“However, we see an opportunity to appeal to customers by investing in enhanced vehicle specification and capability that really delivers a great driving experience and a competitive advantage in various segments.

“SportsCat is a great example of how we can deliver improved on-road and off-road driving dynamics, and combine a great new look with improved vehicle capability and versatility.

“The segment is about much more than drag-strip times.”

The new agreement has been framed specifically to allow the parties to pursue those programs that make the most sense with consideration for brand development, market-based opportunities, customer preferences, and, of course, commercial viability.

The company is, however, quick to emphasise its overall goal remains unchanged: to create exciting products for niche customers looking for unique vehicles.

HSV has also revealed it will introduce a new logo to go with the introduction of its new 2018 range.

It offers a more contemporary interpretation of the ‘Lion & Helmet’ that has adorned HSV vehicles since its inception in 1987.

“The Australian market is shifting and, like Holden, we’re shifting with it. This subtle logo change helps signify a new era of vehicle availability from HSV,” Jackson said.

“But make no mistake, while it’s a new logo, our customers can expect the same uncompromising attitude to introducing exciting vehicles that Australian’s love to drive.”

In respect of Holden vehicles that have been enhanced for new segments like 4×4, those products will be designated ‘by HSV’ and wear the ‘Lion & Helmet’ in selected environments such as the front grille.

“If we then take some vehicles further up the food chain, and both Holden and HSV believe the best branding approach for the vehicle is to receive the full HSV designation, then we will make that call at the time,” Jackson said.

The first Silverados are expected to hit dealerships around the middle of next year, with conversion of the Camaro set to start around the same time.

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Camaro . . . a competitor for Mustang?

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