G8 Will be GM's Last Holden-imported car and Camaro Last Holden-based car in the US

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Jan 16, 2009.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    General Motors confirms G8 and Camaro are the last Aussie RWD models for America

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    GM snuffs Holden's global RWD dream

    By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS in DETROIT
    13 January 2009

    DEVELOPMENT of future large rear-wheel drive vehicle programs beyond the current-generation Holden-devised Zeta architecture has halted at General Motors, according to global product development vice-chairman Bob Lutz.

    Speaking to Australian media at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week, Mr Lutz confirmed that increasingly punitive fuel-economy target legislation, combined with the severe economic crisis, had left the corporation with no option but to cease future RWD large-car development.

    This means that GM may have to keep using the ageing Sigma RWD and all-wheel-drive architecture that has served on its upper-echelon vehicles such as the Cadillac CTS and STS sedans and the SRX luxury SUV.

    The Sigma architecture debuted in 2001 beneath the first-generation CTS.

    “The strategy we had a few years ago of basically deriving a whole sweeping global portfolio off the Australian Zeta architecture ... frankly, we have had to abandon that dream,” Mr Lutz said.

    “This is because, whether you are in the United States or in China, fuel economy mandates are getting more and more severe, and we just could not base our strategy on doing relatively large and relatively heavy rear-wheel-drive cars.

    “And I suspect the same thing is going to start to bite the traditional rear-wheel drive producers.”

    The Zeta’s death knell in the US follows GM’s announcement last week that the VE utility-derived Pontiac G8 ST program had been axed just months before the first vehicle was due to be made and shipped to North America.

    Mr Lutz also confirmed that the Australian-developed Chevrolet Camaro – which is also built off the Zeta platform architecture – has suffered delays as GM tries to get back on its corporate feet. The convertible version will now arrive in 2011 while development of a right-hand drive model has also been set back by a few months – at the very least.

    “Frankly, when we looked at investments that we could defer a little bit because they were non-essential or not critical to the short-term survival of the company, one of the things we pushed out a little bit was the Camaro convertible,” he said.

    “It was going to initially be just one year after the coupe (on sale in the next few months in America), and now it is going to be two years after the coupe.

    “And another thing we deferred was the right-hand-drive version. I’m confident it is going to happen, it’s just that it is going to happen a little later.”

    How long the VE Commodore-based Pontiac G8 – which is built at Holden’s Elizabeth plant in Adelaide – survives is tied in with Pontiac’s fate.

    “It all depends on what we are going to do with the Pontiac brand,” Mr Lutz said. “It is one of the US brands that we have announced that is under ‘strategic review’.

    “With the current financial reality of the company, we’ve got too many kids and too many mouths to feed, and three brands ... actually three-and-a-half brands are under strategic review: Saturn, Hummer, Saab and ‘kind of’ Pontiac.

    “We’ve said that we are going to focus Pontiac down to one or two entries – and for the time being one of the two entries will be the G8, the other being the Pontiac Vibe, and of course the Solstice Roadster and Coupe – and that’s basically the Pontiac line-up.”

    Nevertheless, GM’s global design director (and former Holden design chief) Mike Simcoe told GoAuto in Detroit that the Pontiac G8 had become profitable in North America in recent months, despite selling around half as many as GM anticipated, due to the big drop in the value of the Australian dollar compared to the US currency.

    And the HSV-based 6.2-litre Pontiac GXP will still be launched as scheduled in February.

    Mr Lutz also acknowledged that there would be a next-generation Commodore produced in Australia using a development of the Zeta architecture that debuted as the VE series in July 2006.

    Due out in about 2012 or 2013, it is believed that the next Commodore’s ‘top hat’ (body and interior) will change, as will parts of the drivetrain to accommodate alternative fuel powerplants, but the basic chassis will be carried over.

    “It is our intent to continue the Australian rear-wheel-drive cars; we will continue building them and doing a next generation and so forth and so on,” Mr Lutz said.

    “And, to be honest, they continue to be my favourite cars. I think they are absolutely wonderful – but the regulatory environment is such that it would be imprudent to base a whole global platform strategy on them ... much to my personal chagrin, by the way.”

    Mr Lutz said that, providing GM pulled through the current economic crisis, he expected the auto giant might again be open to the development of a new RWD platform with an expert partner like Holden in Australia – in the long-term.

    “What many of us would like to do (one day) is to do an all-new global rear-wheel drive architecture that would be considerably smaller, lighter and be capable of taking four-cylinder powertrains,” he said.

    “That, I think, could be globally shared. It’s not even in the plan at this point; it’s just what we tell ourselves in that there is going to have to be a next-generation Camaro, and there is going to have to be a next-generation Cadillac sedan, and so there is going to have to be a smaller and a way more efficient rear-wheel-drive architecture.

    “But at this point it is just a gleam in our eye.”

    Meanwhile, Mr Lutz revealed that GM’s decision to green light the design, development and assembly of its next-generation ‘Delta’ small car in Elizabeth leaves Holden in a stronger position to weather the vagaries of consumer trends and economic downturns.

    “Holden has basically committed to localising a compact car for Australia’s future because we see that is where the growth is,” he said.

    Holden managing director and CEO Mark Reuss also said in Detroit this week that sealing the small-car deal for Australia was one of his top priorities when he began his stint in Australia one year ago, and that much of his time since has been spent implementing the program.

    http://www.goauto.com.au/mellor/mellor.nsf/story2/3179582951900889CA25753D0016D9D3
     
  2. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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  3. victimizati0n

    victimizati0n New Member

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    truely.. i dont understand why gm just cant bring the car over looking the exact same except it has a bowtie on it

    im sorry, but they just turn them ugly once they bring them over, and the 1970's style pontiac grill doesnt help either

    even making them a chevy would have boosted sales greatly.. its kinda like HP making the best computer in the world over in japan, but selling it under the compac name IMO
     
  4. retorq

    retorq What up bitch??

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    Sad day indeed ..
     
  5. CJPA

    CJPA New Member

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    UBER FUCKING FAIL
     
  6. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Figures. That guy from Top Gear (I can't remember his name ATM) was right, I guess; running a car company well is like having to be able to predict a gas leak in the kitchen before the house is even built.

    Of course, there are several other car companies that managed to do it, so it's hard to feel too bad. It does suck they're going to throw out all of their work on the Zeta platform. Maybe things will turn around fast enough that they'll be able to resume work on it; it's certainly better than the Sigma platform they have now.
     
  7. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    GM didn't do any of the work or investment on it. It's just a GM US chassis codename applied to Holden's current RWD chassis they developed on their own and currently use. It debuted in 2006 and has been done for years already.

    All this news means is that GM won't take Holden's work global or import any more Holden cars. Holden will carry on as they always have and GM will leave their cars Down Under.
     
  8. CJPA

    CJPA New Member

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    So I stopped reading in utter disgust after "cancel", but is GM going to at least work on it's own American RWD platforms? :dunno:
     
  9. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Sigma is what they came up with here in US for Cadillacs years ago and was just updated . Outside of that and the Corvette I doubt we'll see anything new.

    Kappa (Solstice/Sky) is being dropped when the product cycle is up.
     
  10. topcat

    topcat OT Supporter

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    the aussies have much better design and engineering mastery of rear drive platforms than gm does here in the us, so this decision does not make me happy. i just came back to gm with the g8 (traded a maxima), and now they're going to discontinue it? good job gm.....when the warranty runs out on my g8 if you don't have anything new that's comparable, guess where i'll return to???? nissan/infiniti for affordable rear drive performance. pissing off CAR enthusiasts is what got gm here in the first place. i hope they figure out a way in the next few years to keep us loyal this time.
     
  11. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    G8 is planned to run to 2012. Around that time Holden is discontinuing the Commodore with an updated version. It might go away sooner if they decide to can (which they pretty much already did) Pontiac completely.
     
  12. Cock Diesel

    Cock Diesel New Member

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    Not a good announcement to make when the Camaro hasn't even come out yet. Now that people know it's a dead platform walking, they're gonna be even more inclined to stay away from it (and buy a Mustang GT).

    Proof positive that GM doesn't have a clue and that they are in full panic mode. I highly doubt they're gonna make it past 2010 without massive taxpayer money shots.

    On the bright side, the W-body platform probably has a new lease on life.
     
  13. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    All prior Camaros never shared their stuctures with anything and it didn't matter. It just means a redesign of the car would be done in the US again as it always has.
     
  14. art_VW_shark

    art_VW_shark OT Supporter

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  15. Corz

    Corz ha ha! snikt

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    fucking destined to fail yet again
     
  16. BlazinBlazer Guy

    BlazinBlazer Guy Witness to The De-Evolution of Mankind.

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    I don't really see that happening; even if the platform does have a finite life cycle that has already been plotted, it's still a damn good platform. My bet is people will look at it and say "better get one while we have the chance... the next generation will go back to sucking again"

    Honestly, though.. I can imagine the 5th-gen Camaro will either be the only new one to come along before they kill it again, or the 6th-gen will go back to the craptastic-ness of the 4th-gen and nobody will want one.

    :dunno:
     
  17. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    They'll probably do what they are currently doing with Sigma and just continually update it. It's the same thing Ford is doing with that old structure the Mustang uses.
     
  18. Shu

    Shu OT Supporter

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    :wtc: just give me a diesel in a car already
     
  19. Mitchj

    Mitchj OT Supporter

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    so what future does that leave for Holden?

    none im guessing, most likely Australian designed cars built offshore.
     
  20. Mitchj

    Mitchj OT Supporter

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    “It is our intent to continue the Australian rear-wheel-drive cars; we will continue building them and doing a next generation and so forth and so on,” Mr Lutz said.

    oh good

    in for a smaller car next time.
     
  21. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Well...they have to do R&D on the USDM cars that use the chassis, and from what I can see the Zeta chassis is better than the Sigma chassis (CTS-V wheelhop anyone?), so it's a shame they're not going to continue to use what they learned about working with the Zeta chassis in the G8 and apply it to their other F/R cars.
     
  22. Jake!

    Jake! Guest

    you mean it isn't good business to lose 10k for every car built
     
  23. Will69camaro

    Will69camaro OT Supporter

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    This definitely makes me sad. Hopefully they can just continue to build/update the car in the states. I agree that they should just bring the cars over as is from Australia. Why do they have to make them different?
     
  24. art_VW_shark

    art_VW_shark OT Supporter

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    you can kiss a new and reformed GM product line out the window...
     

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