Federal money helps GM commit to its Australian arm
General Motors' Holden has announced that it will build two new models in Australia by 2020, securing the Australian brand's future for a good few years.
For a company like GM to persevere with a brand like Holden in such a small market as Australia is quite a commitment. Especially considering the limited global appeal of large, mainstream right-hand drive rear-drive saloons like the Commodore, Holden's staple car.
GM clearly feels there's mileage in Holden, however, as it has pledged $1bn AUD (£660m) of investment to its Aussie division until 2022, a move that follows a $275m AUD (£181m) cash injection from the Australian government.
Exactly what form the two new models will take is unclear, but they're likely to be next generation of the Commodore and a smaller saloon "The two new Australian-made cars will be world-class." Says Holden Chairman Mike Devereux. "They will be underpinned by global architectures from within General Motors and bring new fuel-saving, connectivity and safety technologies to Holden's portfolio."
But why should we care about the future health of an Australian market brand? Because without Holden there would be no VXR8. And don't forget, that means more than just a saloon these days; both the Maloo pick-up we drove recently and the estate version are also available as Vauxhalls. And the UK car market would definitely be the worse off for the absence of those three from price lists.