Earlier this week we learned that a Belgian entrepreneur with a habit of buying distressed businesses and turning them around is looking to acquire the production facilities of General Motors Company’s [NYSE:GM] Australian subsidiary Holden, as the facilities are scheduled to close at the end of 2017. That entrepreneur is Guido Dumarey who has successfully turned around a former GM transmission plant, and in addition to acquiring Holden’s production facilities Dumarey is also seeking the rights to the car’s rear-wheel-drive Zeta platform to launch a new generation of premium vehicles and unibody construction light commericals.
Speaking with Australia’s Motoring, Dumarey said he envisages as many as 16 different models being spawned from the Zeta platform including luxury and performance sedans as well as light commericals like the current Commodore Ute and even a four-door crewcab style pickup truck. Helping to differentiate the commercials, they would all have unibody construction and rear- or available all-wheel-drive configurations.
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Dumarey explained that he doesn’t want to simply continue production of the existing Commodore range but rather re-engineer them with new drivetrains, chassis systems and alternative powertrains including diesel and hybrid options. Dumarey points to 2008’s GMC Denali crewcab hybrid pickup concept (above) which was developed by Holden around the Zeta platform.
As for the luxury and performance side of things, Dumarey said he would like to work with the independent tuner to Holden, HSV, to develop vehicles that could mimic some of BMW’s offerings but at a lower cost, something Bob Lutz had envisaged for Pontiac prior to GM’s bankruptcy.
A source familiar with the matter told Motoring that if Dumarey is successful with his bid, production at the Holden plant could restart around two years after its shut by GM, giving a target date of late 2019.