It appears that Ford Australia is not the only colonial outpost of the big American manufacturers to be given the red light for developing future large rear-wheel-drive sedan platforms.
Automotive News is reporting that a GM source has indicated that a similar program led by Holden has been shelved. Under the plan, Holden would have had the starring role in developing large rear-wheel-drive platforms for the likes of Chevrolet and Buick, including the 2011 Chevrolet Impala (artists rendering above), development of which will now be scrapped. The 2011 Impala was to be based on the VE Commodores platform.
The source quoted ?serious fuel economy issues? as the main reason for the decision. The recently revised Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards in North America will force manufacturers to improve the efficiency of their fleet over the next 12 years and beyond. Under the latest CAFE regulations, manufactures will be required to achieve a 25 percent overall improvement in the economy of their range for the 2011-2015 model years, followed by a 40 percent improvement by 2020, when a 35mpg fleet average is required.
Another source told Automotive News that GM did not have plans to terminate any other large-car programs currently underway.