Production commenced yesterday on the all-new dedicated LPG Commodore at Holden’s Vehicle Operations in Elizabeth, South Australia.
The new LPG system will be available in models across Commodore variants for New Zealand customers including Sedan, Sportwagon and Caprice.
Plant Launch Operations Manager, Tony Sylvester said the introduction of the new LPG Commodore to the plant required a number of operational and technical enhancements that were integrated into the build process to accommodate the new model and technology.
“A number of changes across the site were made with the introduction of this model including unique body panels, changes to the facia assemblies moulded in our Plastics operations and a completely new fuel system put into place in General Assembly,” he said.
Previously the LPG fitment of the dual fuel vehicles was completed off line however, the introduction of the dedicated LPG system now required the capability to fuel vehicles with LPG during the build process to enable the car to be driven off the end of the line.
Holden has taken an innovative approach to overcome the cost and complexity of adding an additional fuel line into the plant. Holden Engineers have worked with the tank supplier to come up with the solution of providing pre-fuelled tanks which are then installed as part of the build process on the Chassis Line.
“By having the LPG tanks pre-fuelled when supplied has eliminated the need to install an LPG fuel line in the plant resulting in reduced costs for the program, increased productivity and has ensured that the introduction of the new model into the plant is smooth as possible,” Mr Sylvester said.
Holden’s Ecoline was launched in 2008 in order to create better fuel efficiencies for today and next generation fuel advances for tomorrow that are not only better for the environment and affordable for the typical family but also to provide greater options from the Holden brand.
Four years later, Holden’s philosophy has not changed and the all-new dedicated LPG system perfectly epitomises the future-friendly strategy.
The dedicated LPG fuel system joins the line-up of Ecoline badged models currently produced at the Elizabeth plant that includes E85 capability across all Commodore and Caprice models, Spark Ignition Direct Injection (SIDI) on V6 models, Active Fuel Management (AFM) on automatic V8 models and a 2.0-litre diesel offering for the Cruze sedan and hatch.
“Whether it is performance, economy or size as the main driver for the customer’s purchase we have the flexibility and skill at our South Australian facility to build a variety of combinations to meet their needs,” Mr Sylvester said.
New Zealand technology company, Propane Performance Industries, has been working closely with Holden over the past two years to prepare for the launch of LPG Commodore and CEO Andrew Rodwell said it has been an exciting time.
“We have developed a great working relationship with Holden and we feel proud to have been a part of this incredible innovation and being able to provide our services to such an iconic car company,” Mr Rodwell said.
The introduction of the dedicated LPG Commodore is the latest model launch for Holden Vehicle Operations that in the last 12 months has seen the launch of the locally made Cruze sedan and hatch line-up, model year enhancements to the Commodore and the introduction of the Chevrolet Police car program.
The all-new dedicated LPG range will be available in dealerships from next month.