Those two new cars will be based on what GM describes as “global platforms” and are believed to be Chinese versions of the next-generation Holden Commodore and its long-wheelbase variant, the Caprice, both due out around 2016 and likely to be sold in China either as Buicks or Chevrolets.
And on top of all that, there’s speculation that a facelifted version of the Commodore due out next year, or at least the Caprice, will be sold in the U.S. as a Chevrolet SS (short for SuperSport) and even raced in NASCAR.
Assuming the speculation turns out to be accurate, the success of the Australian-built Chevrolet SS in the U.S. market will determine if a successor is launched. Car and Driver reports that GM bosses are already considering launching a successor for the Chevrolet SS based on the next-generation Commodore, but instead of sourcing it from Australia GM would like to build a local version.
Not only would local production avoid the shortfalls of exchange rate fluctuations and shipping costs, a locally-produced Commodore derivative would be more desirable to law enforcement agencies--a vital element for increasing sales. As GM found out with the current Australian-built Chevrolet Caprice PPV, many departments would like the vehicle but are prevented from purchasing it due to its foreign production.
Additionally, local production would provide GM with the opportunity to launch low volume models like a wagon or ute pickup as it wouldn’t be as risky compared to a full import program as all three variants could be built from the same production line. For this reason, GM is reportedly considering launching locally-built versions of the next-generation Holden Commodore ute and wagon for the U.S. market.
A few years back GM showed off the Pontiac G8 Sport Truck, which was essentially rebadged Commodore ute. The vehicle proved extremely popular with enthusiasts who quickly branded it a modern-day El Camino. Perhaps, one day, the U.S. will have such a vehicle again.
Stay tuned for an update.
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