Tony O'Kane | Jul 14, 2009

HOLDEN WILL BE bumping up V6 production at its Melbourne engine plant by a whopping 14,000 units over the next four years, largely thanks to a newly-brokered (and highly lucrative) supply contract between Holden and GM's Chinese arm, Shanghai General Motors.

The deal will see output of the Holden-made high-feature V6 engines more than triple, and the engines will likely be put into service in a number of Chinese made vehicles.

"We anticipate an increase in V6 engine exports, particularly to the key Chinese market in coming years. That's obviously contingent on future model programs in China," Holden's corporate communications manager Jonathan Rose said to TMR.

holden_globalv6_01The Australian Government also played a key role in pushing the deal through, with Federal Trade Minister Simon Crean and Senator Kim Carr recently visiting China to promote the Australian car industry to Chinese manufacturers.

"It's very pleasing to be recognised overseas for our technical capabilities and having Shanghai GM being enthusiastic about the opportunity with senior Australian Government Ministers," Mr Rose said.

"We very much appreciate the Government's support in promoting our expertise to important overseas markets. Once again, it demonstrates their commitment to an Australian automotive industry.

"We said at the time of the decision to end the Pontiac brand, that we would get back out there and find new export opportunties for our engines and vehicles around the world. We're continuing to do just that."

It's not yet known just how much money the Chinese export deal will bring in for Holden, but being able to more that treble its output is bound to have the company in high spirits.


Other export deals may be waiting in the wings as well, with GM's new product chief Bob Lutz recently dropping strong hints about the resumption of Commodore exports to the USA where, rather than being badged as Pontiac G8s, they may be sold as Chevrolet Caprices.

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