Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Holden Keeps Options on Ute, US Police Commodore

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Holden Keeps Options on Ute, US Police Commodore

Article excerpt

HOLDEN has left the door ajar to continue producing Commodore-based vehicles after the locally engineered model ends its stint in dealerships in 2016.

While no decisions have been made, Holden said it can respond to US demand for the car: a version of the Commodore is currently sold as a police car (police patrol vehicle, or PPV) and, soon, as a Chevrolet SS performance model.

After a slow start, sales of the police car were picking up and General Motors North American president Mark Reuss said one option was to continue production of the PPV in Australia beyond the 2016 local life of the Commodore.

C[pounds sterling]ThatCOs a champagne problem that weCOll deal with as this goes,C[yen] Reuss said. C[pounds sterling]We have a lot of time to see how it goes.C[yen]

Reuss emphasised it was only one option, but that it would be a relatively affordable one that would be easy to implement.

C[pounds sterling]ItCOs all paid for, itCOs all there. The plant has space. WeCOll deal with it at a later time. We want to be flexible.C[yen]

Holden chairman and managing director Mike Devereux said the company had the luxury of time on what would be a significant decision for the companyCOs troubled local manufacturing operations.

Devereux says a decision to continue producing vehicles on aging C[pounds sterling]legacyC[yen] architecture that is almost exclusive to Australia could also give longer life to the Commodore-based Holden Ute.

Ute sales last year grew 15% to almost 175,000, representing 17% of the market. And while Holden Ute sales have been sliding the 7925 sales still represents respectable volume.

Keeping the South Australian Holden plant producing Commodore-based utes after the end of regular Commodore production could bring incremental sales for minimal investment. …

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