Holden has announced a new export program, confirming that Commodore will return to North America in late 2013 as the new Chevrolet SS performance sedan.
The limited production derivative of the yet to be launched VF Commodore will arrive in North American showrooms late next year. It will be the first time in 17 years that Chevrolet will offer a rear-wheel-drive sedan for sale in the US.
The SS will also become Chevrolet’s next NASCAR Sprint Cup racecar debuting next year in its race configuration at the world renowned Daytona 500.
Based on the much anticipated Australian-built car, the Chevrolet SS will benefit from significant technology advances including innovations in light weighting and fuel efficiency.
Mark Reuss, GM President of North America says as a passionate race fan and performance enthusiast he was thrilled with the announcement.
“I am delighted to say that Chevrolet will deliver a true rear-wheel-drive NASCAR racecar in the SS that very closely links the performance sedan that will be available for sale,” he says .
“The Chevrolet SS is a great example of how GM is able to leverage its global product portfolio to deliver a unique performance experience that extends well beyond the track and I am personally looking forward to driving it.”
GM Holden’s Executive Director of Engineering Greg Tyus, says Chevrolet and its customers would benefit from Holden’s proven expertise in developing and manufacturing rear wheel drive vehicles.
“Holden has a great track record of producing performance cars for GM and the world,” says Mr Tyus.
"We were responsible for the design and engineering of the Chevrolet Camaro, VE Commodore was sold as the Pontiac G8 and we are currently exporting the Chevrolet Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle - so we understand the needs of the North American market."
Mr Tyus highlighted that although exporting in the current economic environment was difficult, Holden vehicle exports were up 54 per cent last year compared to 2010.
"Today's announcement shows that we can, and will, continue to pursue targeted, profitable export programs that add value to Holden and GM.
“We continue to export our engineering and design capability around the GM world and we have significant vehicle export programs to the Middle East, New Zealand and North America.
“I’m incredibly proud of the talent we have here at Holden to design, engineer and build performance vehicles that appeal to both local and overseas markets and the new VF Commodore will be no different.
“Our expertise in this arena is second to none and highlights the flexibility of Holden’s Elizabeth manufacturing operations. It's great to have secured this new export program that will continue to support our plant."
The Minister for Industry and Innovation Greg Combet says Holden had again demonstrated to the world the quality of Australian technological innovation, and the design and engineering skills of our manufacturing workforce.
“In what are challenging times for many manufacturing businesses, Holden is designing and making products wanted in markets across the world,” says Mr Combet.
“This achievement shows what Australian manufacturers can do and is possible because of the co-investment support of the Australian Government through our $5.4 (AUD) billion New Car Plan.”