Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Here Comes the New VF but Where Next for Aussie Icon? as Holden Prepares to Unveil the Latest Commodore, Grant Edwards Reveals Why This Is a Bittersweet Moment for the Aussie Icon

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Here Comes the New VF but Where Next for Aussie Icon? as Holden Prepares to Unveil the Latest Commodore, Grant Edwards Reveals Why This Is a Bittersweet Moment for the Aussie Icon

Article excerpt

TOMORROW is a bittersweet moment for Holden.

There will be sweet celebrations when the wraps come off the much-anticipated VF Commodore which is hailed as C[pounds sterling]significantly up-marketC[yen] on anything weCOve seen produced before in Australia.

The bitter rub is itCOs probably the last time a new Commodore in this die-cast will be launched.

After 35 years and the mantle of being AustraliaCOs best-selling car for 15 consecutive years, the end is nigh. The Commodore will live on post-2016 despite claims to the contrary, but perhaps not in a large-car format.

Australians are gravitating to small cars and sports utility vehicles in record numbers. Commodore and its arch rival, the Ford Falcon, are no longer on the shopping lists of fleet or private buyers.

The Mazda3 was AustraliaCOs top selling vehicle last year, followed by ToyotaCOs HiLux and Corolla. Commodore retained fourth position, but sales numbers are spiraling.

Motoring journalist Ewan Kennedy said when the Commodore was launched in 1978 it was designed to be smaller and more efficient than the Kingswood range in the wake of rising oil prices. And it could be time to evolve again.

C[pounds sterling]I think there could still be a Commodore for a long time to come,C[yen] he said.

C[pounds sterling]It would have to be a smaller car. We are currently building some of the biggest cars in the world.C[yen]

Mr Kennedy said a vehicle the size of a Mazda6 could be a workable solution and enable Holden to retain a successful nameplateC*but it would be powered by a four-cylinder engine and most probably front-wheel drive (shock horror for staunch fans) and imported.

That could see a return to the infamous cut-price four-potter VC Commodore from 1980.

C[pounds sterling]ItCOs amazing people who werenCOt even born when the four-cylinder Commodore was manufactured still know how bad that car was,C[yen] Mr Kennedy said.

C[pounds sterling]It really was a crook engine. But come the VH it was improved.C[yen]

Yet things have changed dramatically nowadays. Engineers are doing amazing things with the latest technology, and modern four-cylinder engines are more powerful and efficient than straight-sixes and V6s from bygones eras. …

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