Hope of General Motors ever launching a modern-day Chevrolet El Camino based on the Holden Commodore Ute are fading fast, with news coming out today the once popular Holden utility won’t be replaced when a new Commodore is launched in 2017. The Commodore Ute has seen a 31 percent drop in sales over the past 12 months due to stiff competition from new pickup models imported mostly from Thailand.
The reason for the Commodore Ute’s demise is said to be a combination of the lower sales and a likely switch to a front-wheel-drive platform for the next Commodore which would be unsuitable for commercial duty. The information was reported by Carsguide, citing an anonymous source.
Holden has promised to build cars based on two global platforms from 2017 onwards, one of which has been confirmed to be the second-generation Cruze. Holden is yet to confirm what model the second platform will spawn, though many are expecting it to be a front-wheel-drive sedan.
However, since the February announcement, Holden has said changing economic conditions mean the company will need additional economic support from the Australian government if it is to keep production in Australia. Holden is in the process of crucial negotiations with the government but worryingly its managing director, Mike Devereux, has announced he’s leaving to run a more international role within General Motors Company [NYSE:GM].
His departure has led to speculation that Holden is preparing to wind up its manufacturing operations in Australia after the current Commodore's run, similar to what Ford announced back in May for its own Falcon line.