GM's ZETA RWD Platform - 2007 GTO, Camaro, El Camino, New Buicks, Opels, Saabs.

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Mar 6, 2004.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Next gen. 2007 Pontiac GTO to be designed in Australia.

    Sydney Morning Herald 02/20/04
    author: Joshua Dowling
    Copyright of John Fairfax Group Pty Ltd

    [​IMG]

    The last time Bob Lutz visited Holden with senior executives from General Motors, he set the wheels in motion to export the Monaro to America. On this week's flying visit, General Motors' flamboyant product chief and his peers had a sneak preview of the all-new 2006 Commodore range, most of which is likely to be sold and assembled overseas.

    Reports in overseas motoring media claim that General Motors is close to announcing the Commodore's global plans. But at a media briefing on Tuesday at Holden's proving ground on the outskirts of Melbourne, Lutz said a date was yet to be finalised.

    Everybody is hard at work and the assumption is it will all be approved, but [the corporation] likes to time these [announcements] for maximum effect, said Lutz. Our friends in the communications department are trying to keep a lid on it for the time being.

    Part of the reason for the delay in the announcement is that it affects many parties. The skeleton of the next Commodore is likely to be used in vehicles GM sells in the USA, Europe, Korea, China and the Middle East.

    The 2006 Commodore will be the first vehicle to use the all-new structure. But, thanks to computer and satellite technology, Holden designers could style Commodore-based variants for other GM divisions - namely Saab, Cadillac, Buick and Pontiac - from their studios in Port Melbourne. Technology allows the three-dimensional designs and other vital statistics to be transmitted electronically to GM's design centres in the US and Europe.

    Once [the 2006 Commodore] is over we're going to have some spare engineering capacity, said Lutz. With the technology you can have Holden chief designer Mike Simcoe design a Cadillac, transfer the data to Detroit, and then have designers in America mill the clay model there, polish it up and critique it. Nowadays it almost doesn't matter where the physical clay [model] is.

    Saab's advanced design studio, he said, is currently working on a Cadillac project. So, I think very definitely that Holden will be more involved in future global design. Lutz also stressed that Australian designers - not Americans - would design the next generation Pontiac GTO.

    Meanwhile, the Free Trade Agreement between Australia and the US would not automatically lead to an export order for Holden Utes, Lutz said, because Holden's factory in Adelaide is running at maximum capacity and negotiations with America's powerful United Auto Workers (UAW) union are yet to take place.

    We have a highly co-operative relationship with the UAW, Lutz said. You don't want to disrupt it. It's like if I want to buy another airplane. I can absolutely do it and confront my wife and say it was my money, I decided I needed another airplane and she would say, 'Yes, dear', but there would be a disturbed relationship for a considerable period of time.

    When asked if the UAW would accept more imported vehicles if the trade agreement with Australia was ratified, Lutz said: Intellectually, it's understood. On an emotional level, it's hard to digest at a time when we don't have all our [factories] running at full capacity and we're still talking about having excess capacity in the US.

    Don't forget that, for Americans, the concept of the country existing in a global economy is much harder to accept than it is for Europeans and other people because we were like a world unto our own for so many decades.

    Lutz said the UAW might be less opposed to imports once Cadillacs, Corvettes, Hummers and other vehicles were exported overseas: It's a two-way street.

    Lutz, 72, who has worked for BMW, Ford and Chrysler during his illustrious career and who flies a military fighter plane in his spare time, said he has no plans to retire. I don't think about it, he said. As far as I'm concerned, I serve at the pleasure of [General Motors CEO] Rick Wagoner and the board of directors, and I'm willing to do it as long as they'll have me.

    I'm having the time of my life, he said as he sampled the Monaro-based Pontiac GTO at 200kmh on Holden's high-speed test track. This job beats retirement any day. Tell me where in retirement you can do this.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Michael Simcoe, recently promoted from Holden to Executive Director of GM Asia Pacific Design. He oversaw the visual design of the Holden Monaro and Pontiac GTO.
     
  2. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    GM's product czar Bob Lutz shows zest for Zeta architecture

    [​IMG]

    By BRUCE NEWTON 20 February 2004

    GENERAL MOTORS product czar Bob Lutz has forecast a "huge" future for the new Holden-developed VE Commodore architecture, predicting it will underpin a minimum of 400,000 cars worldwide. And Mr Lutz’s estimate on build numbers is regarded as conservative within Holden.

    Mr Lutz is at the head of a heavyweight GM delegation visiting Holden this week which also includes world engineering boss Jim Queen and design chief Ed Welburn.

    The group was given an in-depth tour of the VE, the Zeta architecture and various spin-off concepts at Holden’s Fishermens Bend headquarters on Monday.

    "Holden has a major, major, major role to play in at least one worldwide architecture," Mr Lutz said at a press function on Tuesday at Holden’s Lang Lang proving ground.

    "It’s potential could be huge. We’re talking rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, V6, V8. Some of the plans are still very fuzzy, but if you look at the European potential, the Asian potential, Holden and the United States and it could be 400,000."

    At least some of GM’s plans for the architecture codenamed Zeta – which will be first employed under a production car when the all-new VE Commodore is launched in the first half of 2006 – could be announced as soon as the second quarter of 2004.

    That date was mooted by new Holden managing director Denny Mooney on Tuesday.

    The announcement could coincide with a Zeta-based Buick convertible show car tipped to be unveiled at the New York auto show in April, although that concept is far from confirmed.

    Holden sources say it is more likely that Zeta’s global role will be first announced in Australia. The Zeta architecture will be manufactured in Australia under VE Commodore, its derivatives and exports, in the US under Buicks, Chevrolets and Pontiacs, and is also under consideration to underpin a forthcoming Opel large car and the replacement for the Saab 9-5 luxury model.

    The first foreign model expected to emerge is a Buick flagship sedan late in 2006.

    Holden already exports Commodores, Monaros and long wheelbase cars as Chevs and Pontiacs to various export markets, the best known being the Pontiac GTO.

    The difference with Zeta is the architecture technology would be primarily exported for overseas manufacture and the sheetmetal on top would not necessarily bear any resemblance to any Holdens.

    Asked about Mr Lutz’s 400,000 build estimate, Mr Mooney responded: "It could be more than that, 400,000 isn’t even two plants. You’ve got to remember a plant in North America in a two-shift operation will run about 240,000 units, a three-shift operation will do over 300,000.

    "I think that (Lutz estimate) is conservative."
     
  3. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Buick Boost: Holden engineered platform is set to play a vital role in the repositioning of Buick in the US.

    [​IMG]

    By BRUCE NEWTON 26 February 2004

    STRUGGLING US brand Buick is set to be the first North American recipient of Holden’s Zeta architecture.

    General Motors has plans to reposition Buick as its direct opposition to Toyota’s luxury brand Lexus. Holden technology will play a key role in making that happen.

    First signs of the co-operation should come in April at the New York auto show with the unveiling of a convertible concept expected to be called Velite.

    But Buick will have to wait until 2007 before being able to exploit the architecture with a production car. And according to GoAuto sources in the US that won’t be all, with the production convertible set to follow it on to the market in 2008.

    As you can see from the launch schedule reproduced below, Zeta will also underpin Chevrolets and Pontiacs in North America. And the list we have obtained is by no means complete.

    Zeta has been developed by Holden for the VE Commodore and its derivatives but, as part of GM’s global architecture strategy, the technology will be exported internationally to underpin a new generation of vehicles. Zeta can be formatted in rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, with V6 and V8 drivetrains and in a variety of wheelbases.

    Last week, during an Australian visit, GM product czar Bob Lutz put the worldwide opportunities for Zeta at about 400,000 units per annum, but that is a very conservative number.

    Zeta production is expected to start at the Buick plant in Oshawa, Canada, in 2006. In 2002 215,727 Buick Century and Regal models were built there. Add the potential for a second US plant, Fishermens Bend production and possible European use (Saab and Opel), and the Zeta total climbs beyond 500,000.

    So why Buick first? Because it’s in a much weaker state than Chevrolet or Pontiac. Last year it sold 259,348 vehicles, a 30 per cent slide from 2002.

    GM plans to reposition Buick more upscale with higher prices, more standard equipment and options not offered on current models. "It will be American premium luxury,” GM North America president Gary Cowger told Automotive News this month.

    "When you think about Buick, you’ve got to think about going right head-to-head with Lexus – only (with) American premium luxury, distinguishing itself with very tasteful executions of interiors, getting back to more classic designs."

    The first step in Buick’s resurgence came at the Chicago auto show when the all new mid-size LaCrosse was revealed.

    Replacing the Regal and the Century, the LaCrosse was one of Mr Lutz’s first projects when he re-joined GM. He killed the original proposal and closely managed the exterior and interior styling re-designs.

    Significantly, Mr Lutz’s previous utterances about Holdens that will sell in the US have not only included the Monaro as GTO and the SS Utility as a Chevrolet El Camino, but also the long wheelbase Statesman as a reborn Buick Roadmaster.

    ZETA ROLL-OUT

    2007 Buick luxury sedan
    2007 Pontiac GTO
    2008 Buick convertible
    2008 Pontiac Grand Prix
    2008/09 Chevrolet coupe and convertible (Camaro?)
    2009 Chevrolet Impala
    2010 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
     
  4. jinushaun

    jinushaun New Member

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    :bowdown:
     
  5. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    RWD is coming back, in a big way. :cool:
     
  6. dmora

    dmora Guest

  7. BLoG

    BLoG Scented Meat

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    rwdv8 > fwdv6
     
  8. RDB

    RDB Blinded By Subpar Modulators

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    holla when they put the 4.2L in a sedan/coupe
     
  9. Dr.Smasher

    Dr.Smasher .

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    RWD Buicks? Sounds like fun to me
     
  10. Bernout

    Bernout OT Supporter

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    Based on the thread title alone, I'm all over this thread!!!


    :wackit: :boink: :buttsex: :69: :OP:
     
  11. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Kappa (compact) - Pontiac Solstice/Chevrolet Nomad/Opel Speedster/Saturn

    Sigma (midsize) - Cadillac CTS/Cadillac SRX/Cadillac STS

    Corvette (roadster) - C6 Corvette/Cadillac XLR

    Zeta (large) - Buick/Chevrolet Camaro/Chevrolet El Camino/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/Pontiac GTO/Numerous Holdens/Saab 9-5/Opel

    That's four new GM RWD platforms. :eek3:
     
  12. Bernout

    Bernout OT Supporter

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    it just sucks that I'll be over 30 by the time we get the next Camaro....not sure if I'd still want one by then....:sad2:
     
  13. Bernout

    Bernout OT Supporter

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    Nissan only needs two :o
     
  14. luvitlo94

    luvitlo94 Make a choice and don't look back.

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    so is this kind of announcement they're FINALLY redesigning the 9-5? :x:
    i hope so. how many years has it been at its current design?
     
  15. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    You could always get the GTO, Monte Carlo, or Corvette by then. :o
     
  16. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Yes, and it'll be the first RWD Saab in years (next to the 9-7X of course). :bigthumb:
     
  17. Bernout

    Bernout OT Supporter

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    Seriously...I would've waited for a 2006 Camaro...but that's it. In fact, even now I see my tastes maturing towards the 540i-type of ride.... :sad2:
     
  18. Seifer

    Seifer Abort your Babies!

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    sounds FUCKING FANTASTIC.
     
  19. Chadder007

    Chadder007 OG Diamond Member

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    GM plans to reposition Buick more upscale with higher prices, more standard equipment and options not offered on current models. "It will be American premium luxury,” GM North America president Gary Cowger told Automotive News this month.

    "When you think about Buick, you’ve got to think about going right head-to-head with Lexus – only (with) American premium luxury, distinguishing itself with very tasteful executions of interiors, getting back to more classic designs."

    ----Sooooo GM wants to pit another one of its divisions against itself once again? Buick vs. Cadillac?
     
  20. Abraxis

    Abraxis Denny Crane.

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    Over 30 interests are the same as at 21. You're just smarter about how you entertain them. You'll still want one.
     
  21. GhostZ

    GhostZ Guest

  22. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Cadillac = edgy designs, emphasis on performance, much higher prices

    Buick = Conservative classy designs, emphasis on pure luxury, quite a bit cheaper
     
  23. Bernout

    Bernout OT Supporter

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    Lemme tell you, I'm 26 now and by no means do I lust after Supras and the like as I did when I was 21. Especially considering that at 21 I was actually rolling a 6-speed Supra...things are just different now...
     
  24. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Redesigned Saab 9-5, 3.6L V6 turbo, RWD, 540i-size, with nice Saab styling and interior.
     
  25. Bernout

    Bernout OT Supporter

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    SAAB...??!! :ugh:
     

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