Holden Secures Chinese Export Deal: Local Large Car Industry Fights On
Motoring Channel Staff - 18/Apr/2007
The Buick Park Avenue will be fitted
with Australian-built V6 powerplants
The Buick Park Avenue has a clear
resemblance to the Holden Statesman
Unlike the Australian versions of the
large car, the Chinese Buick Park Ave
will feature a passenger focussed interior
Melbourne, Australia —
Large car sales in Australia are not what they used to be. Factors like
fuel consumption, carbon emissions and resale value are becoming
increasingly important to new car buyers, and what once used to be the
cash cow for Holden and Ford - the Commodore and Falcon large cars - are now having
to secure their long-term survival by other means.
As local sales drop, one of the keys to the survival for both the Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon are exports.
upcoming 2008 model Falcon - an all-new model with a new look, and a
new platform (but similar engines) - is expected to be engineered so
that left-hand drive models can be easily manufactured for exports into
foreign markets, such as North America and Europe, and may even use a number of future Mustang parts to
Holden, meanwhile, has been exporting vehicles and engines around the
world more successfully than Ford Australia, and following recent
news that GM Holden will begin exporting its luxury Caprice to Korea
(rebadged as a Daewoo L4X), Holden has just secured what could one
of its biggest deals yet: exports to China.
According to GM Holden, the company will export two versions of the Global V6 engines to China, which will be fitted in the new
Buick Park Avenue, which is being built by Shanghai General Motors.
Holden has revealed that the new engine export program is expected to
be worth several hundred million dollars to GM Holden over the next few
years, which bodes well for the future of its local large car
GM Holden's managing director, Denny
Mooney, had this to say: "The Buick Park Avenue is another exciting step in the
worldwide adoption of the global rear-wheel drive architecture
developed here in Australia and is a valuable export program for GM
Holden in the world’s fastest growing auto market. Our engine
export program generated over $570 million in revenue in 2006 alone and
this will be a further boost to this key area of our business.
today’s announcement of these engine exports to Shanghai GM, our engine
production plant in Victoria is supplying customers in markets as
diverse as Italy, South Korea, Germany, Thailand, South Africa, Sweden
and China. Australia’s role in the forthcoming Chevrolet Camaro
for the US market, and now the Buick Park Avenue for China, underlines
how Australian design and engineering expertise is playing a lead role
in General Motor’s worldwide vehicle production," said Mr Mooney.
well as using both the 3.6-litre and a unique 2.8-litre V6
engines, both to be built in Victoria, Australia, the Buick
Park Avenue is
the first vehicle to go into production outside Australia that will
global rear-wheel drive architecture (or Zeta platform) developed by GM
Holden. We recently reported that GM's head of new car development, Bob
Lutz, poured cold water on plans to use the Australian-developed
platform (which also underpins the VE Commodore) on a number of
upcoming American cars, but this is believed to be a knee-jerk reaction
to new emissions laws proposed by the White House in America. General
Motors insiders are still confident that the global rear-wheel drive
architecture will be the platform of choice for a number of new North
American built cars in the future.
back to the Chinese export news, and Holden has confirmed that the
Buick Park Avenue vehicle is based on the Holden Statesman, which
is already a popular export vehicle in the Middle East and New Zealand.
Holden explained that the Buick Park Avenue will be built at
Shanghai GM's Jinqiao plant will have an exterior based on the Holden
Statesman, while the
interior will be completely redesigned by GM China in order to suit the
Holden's specialist rear wheel drive engineering expertise has also
been called upon to engineer the car to serve as a luxury limousine
catering more for rear seat passengers, rather than the
driver-orientated vehicle that is currently produced in Australia.
GM Daewoo L4X
was mentioned earlier in this article, GM Holden's long wheel based Statesman and Caprice models
appear to be winning fans right across the glob, and the recent confirmation of a
production version of GM Daewoo's L4X is more good news for the
Australian large car industry. Holden explains the L4X is scheduled to
go on sale in Korea in 2008, based on GM Holden's successful WM Caprice.
new vehicle, which will be tailored to the needs of the Korean market,
will be built at GM Holden’s vehicle assembly plant in Elizabeth
with the Global V6 engine coming from the company’s engine
operations at Fishermans Bend in Victoria.
Denny Mooney, GM
Holden's managing director, said, "This is another example of General
Motors' ability to leverage its global resources to satisfy a local
market need. GM Daewoo and its customers will benefit from GM Holden's
acknowledged expertise in developing and manufacturing rear wheel drive
vehicles. With our new VE and WM ranges, we designed and engineered
them to appeal to both local and overseas markets. We are starting to
see the returns from that with our Australian–built cars
currently being exported to every continent except Antarctica."
is the second vehicle export arrangement between GM Daewoo and GM
Holden. In 2005 GM Holden exported nearly 2000 of the previous model WL
Holden Statesman to Korea which was marketed as the GM Daewoo
Statesman. Other vehicles manufactured by GM Holden were sold overseas
in 2006 under the GM brands of Chevrolet (Brazil, Middle East, and
South Africa), Pontiac (United States), and Holden (New Zealand).
of cars and engines continue to be a core component of GM Holden's
future strategy for growth and today's confirmation of new exports to
Korea further expands our growing presence in overseas markets,"
concluded Mr Mooney.
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Barina (Road Test)
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- Holden VE Commodore - Dual-Fuel LPG (2006)
- Melbourne Motor Show (2006)
- Sydney Motor Show (2006)