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Holden wants Pontiac to join in for next gen Commodore.

Old 02-11-2007, 09:55 PM
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Holden wants Pontiac to join in for next gen Commodore.

Pontiac tie-up opens door for new Commodore
Email Print Normal font Large font Ian Porter
February 12, 2007

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AdvertisementGM HOLDEN is having to form an alliance with the small Pontiac division of GM to secure the funds needed to develop the next Commodore range.

With the parent company General Motors under financial pressure and model cycle times shortening all the time, GMH might have had trouble securing another $1 billion or more to replace the VE Commodore in four or five years.

GMH posted a loss of $145 million in 2005 and, while it is believed to have climbed back into the black in 2006, the returns in Australia may not be enough to justify the investment needed for a new Commodore.

"I see a long-term relationship with us and Pontiac," GMH executive chairman Denny Mooney said at the unveiling in Melbourne last week of the new-model G8.

"To overcome the inertia inside the corporation to get the investment funds you need to do new cars, you are better off having a partner," he said.

With two divisions committing to a new Australian-built model from the start, there would be an increased likelihood of the investment being approved and of GMH's Elizabeth assembly plant retaining its position as a production centre for large rear-wheel-drive cars.

"I can guarantee you, if Pontiac's with us, it's a lot easier to get the capital approved to do what we want to do," Mr Mooney said.

The blossoming relationship with Pontiac might also result in American-made cars coming to Australia as Holdens. Pontiac has already marketed the Monaro in the US and has just agreed to take more than 30,000 Commodores a year starting in the last quarter of 2007.

The Commodore will be badged as the G8 model, a new sports sedan from Pontiac offering V6 and V8 power. The G8 will be based on the Commodore SS model.

It's not clear whether a closer tie-up between the two divisions would mean Pontiac designers would have influence over the design of the new Commodore.

GMH is one of GM's smallest divisions, making just more than 100,000 vehicles a year, around the same size as Saab. Only GM's specialist truck brand Hummer is smaller. Holden will not get back to near its full capacity of 145,000 units until the Pontiac contract comes on line.

Mr Mooney said the relationship with Pontiac would not preclude Holden selling cars to other divisions of GM.

He said GMH had sent a left-hand-drive Commodore utility to Detroit a year ago and it was being evaluated.
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Old 02-11-2007, 11:00 PM
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Sounds good to me. Seems like they could actually get some brand distinction going on with Saturn/Opel being Euro influenced and Pontiac/Holden having a Aussie/American influence.

That would also create a precedent for those Torana or Alpha cars we keep hearing whispers about.
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Old 02-12-2007, 01:41 AM
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I like the idea. Pontiac really needs Holden and now it seems they need Pontiac's budget. Lets hope the G8 sells all they can build and I think the relationship between the two divisions will be very good GM and good for us.
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Old 02-12-2007, 07:13 AM
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I think it's a great idea for Holden and Pontiac to team up to develop their cars. It can even be just like the Saturn/Opel team. Holden makes some really high quality cars, and Pontiac just happens to need those same designs.

That said, they need to produce these Pontiacs in North America if they want to avoid dealer gouging, and if they want to produce them in volume.

Now I'm going to take issue with the article. How can the guy say that Pontiac is a small GM division when it sells 3 times the amount of vehicles that Holden does?
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Old 02-12-2007, 11:41 AM
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Considering that Holden used a lot of Pontiac cues in their cars of the mid 60's. (i.e. Pontiac Rally II wheels were used on the 70's Monaro). I say it's a good thing.
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Old 02-12-2007, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Z284ever View Post
He said GMH had sent a left-hand-drive Commodore utility to Detroit a year ago and it was being evaluated.
That would be a UTE, correct?
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Old 02-12-2007, 12:37 PM
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I think it's a very good move as well.... so long as Pontiac gets Holdenized and not the other way around.... Pontiac in the near term stands to gain more from the relationship than Holden with those nice RWD vehicles to choose from....

Although, we'll take those VE cars and y'all down there in Australia can have all our G6 GXP "street package" cars - there's an even trade, ya think.
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Old 02-12-2007, 01:06 PM
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Holden has had design ties with both Chevrolet and Pontiac in the past.

If you go through Holden's locally produced cars till the late 70s, they all could have sat in either Pontiac or Chevrolet showrooms without a raised eyebrow. If Monaro continued in the late 1970s, it would have had Pontiac's split grille (One of our Aussie friends can post the B/W picture of it).

I somehow think this is the natural conclusion of an idea that's been sputtering around for 30 years.
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Old 02-12-2007, 02:11 PM
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The "Ute" is going to be a tough sale here, I think, in the heart of Pick-Up country...even small pickups don't do as well as full sized ones.
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Old 02-12-2007, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by 90rocz View Post
The "Ute" is going to be a tough sale here, I think, in the heart of Pick-Up country...even small pickups don't do as well as full sized ones.
That is mostly due to pricing and limited availability of features on the smaller trucks. Also the big 3 put 110% into there full size trucks, while small truck they cut corners on and then leave models to rot. Toyota is a lot more competitive and serious with there mid size truck.

Ute is a niche that no one has. I think they could easily do 30,000 units a year.
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Old 02-12-2007, 05:07 PM
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the Ute is a market like the Magnum. No one has it so go for it..
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