The next Holden large car will be drawn from parent General Motors’ global portfolio and named the Commodore. The nameplate will live on after the carmaker closes its manufacturing operations in Australia in 2017, GM has confirmed.
What will wear the Commodore badge is not known, although the smart money is on the next-generation Opel Insignia, the styling of which was previewed in the Opel Monza concept. The 2014 Insignia is pictured above.
History is on the Insignia’s side. The first Commodore – the badge was introduced in 1978 to replace the Kingswood moniker – was based on the German-built Opel Rekord.
One thing that is known is that Holden is already testing the new Commodore at its Lang Lang proving ground near Melbourne.
GM International chief Stefan Jacoby said so earlier this month, before the continuation of the Commodore nameplate was confirmed. “We are driving this car already in Lang Lang,” Jacoby told reporters at the Detroit motor show.
Jacoby, previously CEO of Volkswagen America, said the decision to retain the Commodore nameplate was not taken lightly. “I cannot reveal full details of the next-generation vehicle, but I can say it will either compare very favourably or improve on the current Commodore’s dynamic performance.”
Melbourne-based executive director of sales Peter Keley also said the next Commodore was being “shaped” for NZ and Australian customers. “The vehicle will be tuned and honed by Holden engineers and technicians at Lang Lang, ensuring it performs to expectations.”
“When it arrives in 2018, it will honour Commodore’s heritage and support a long and successful future casino online for Holden in New Zealand and Australia.”
Holden confirmed last year that around one-third of its future models will be rebadged European units. Another indication that the next-generation Commodore will be based on the Insignia will arrive in New Zealand this year.
It’s the Insignia VXR, a go-faster sedan. Alongside it will be the Astra GTC and VXR and the Cascada soft-top sports car.
But there’s a wild card in the next Holden Commodore story. One suggestion is that it could be sourced from the United States and based on the same rear-drive platform as the upcoming Cadillac CT6 and the Buick Avenir concept, an Australian-designed sedan shown at Detroit that is yet to be confirmed for production.
Holden will stop building the current VF Commodore in 2017. Its successor was under development in Melbourne in December 2013 when Holden announced it would not longer be financially viable to build cars in Australia beyond 2017. Ford and Toyota will also stop building cars in Australia, Ford in 2016 and Toyota in 2018.