New Chevrolet Impala could kill Commodore’s U.S market hopes

May 27th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Production of the next-generation 2014 Chevrolet Impala will be shifted to GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck manufacturing plant. At this production facility the new Impala will be produced alongside the Chevrolet Volt and Malibu with the decision being an early indication that Holden’s Commodore won’t be returning to U.S. shores.

The next American-market Impala will use a stretched version of GM’s Epsilon II platform, with a front-wheel drive layout. It certainly won’t prove a popular move with Chevy enthusiasts who want the famous-named large sedan to be rear-wheel powered and it also lessens the chances of the Commodore ever returning to the U.S., in either sedan, wagon or ute bodystyles.

With the Impala going front-driven GM is showing an awareness of fuel economy regulations. GM’s decision to keep most of its range front-wheel drive shows that the automaker has a preference for better fuel economy over performance. The front-wheel drive architecture also helps with developing more modern interiors due to the absence of a bulky driveshaft running the length of the car. In simple terms the Commodore just doesn’t fit into GM’s new politically correct range. It was popular in Pontiac G8 form but that was a different time and with the new Malibu being a direct competitor within the GM range the Commodore will have a tough time finding its way back into the lucrative America market. Continue reading “New Chevrolet Impala could kill Commodore’s U.S market hopes” »

Holden Commodore may survive in American market

June 9th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Pontiac G8 fq dyn

Over in the states the once proud Pontiac brand is now dead in the water but many American enthusiasts are clamouring for the Pontiac G8 aka Holden Commodore to be rebadged and sold under another GM brand name.

Designed and constructed in Australia by Holden, the G8 has been a better than average seller thanks to its competitive pricing and sporty nature, and it may get another chance.

GM’s current CEO, Fritz Henderson, has already been clear that no Pontiac vehicle will survive the marques extinction. But Henderson also has a commitment to retain bits of GM’s sporting heritage, so the Corvette will remain in the portfolio along with other performance models. The high-performance version of the G8 named the G8 GXP will not continue according to Henderson but what about the lesser versions?

The standard Pontiac G8 sedan’s future is up in the air and enthusiasts are lobbying GM to keep the car and simply remarket it as the Impala SS. With the Impala SS set to be phased out shortly, the plan appears to have timing on its side, but even so GM’s vice chairman of global product development Tom Stephens still doesn’t think there’s room for the car at Chevrolet.

In a recent interview, Stephens claimed that while there are still be discussions raging on about the G8’s future, the fact is that “Chevrolet already has several sedans” making the rebranding of the car unnecessary. GM could attempt to rebrand it as a Buick model but again the likelihood of this is uncertain considering boss man Fritz Henderson’s dislike of the G8 GXP performance model.

The G8/Commodore has done the hard yards and proven itself in the American market  and with minimal development costs it would be easy to market the car following Pontiac’s demise – although figuring out which brand may best support the car will be very tricky for GM.

Here’s a crazy idea; why not take that stupid Pontiac face off the car, let it be a proudly Australian Holden Commodore, and sell it through the GM dealer networks. Then watch as the American public slowly realise that a GM subsidiary on the other side of the world is making a better sports sedan than GM America is capable of.