A new era begins for HSV and Holden as the two Australian companies re-commit to a partnership with a new direction for future products. Headlining its first few models will be the US-sourced Chevrolet Camaro and Silverado, as well as Holden’s high-riding dual-cab Colorado ute.
Adorning the front of Holden vehicles tuned by HSV will be a new logo design of the tuning shop’s helmet and lion badge.
The brand hasn’t changed its logo since its inception 30 years ago but says it is a contemporary upgrade and consistent with Holden’s transition from local-manufacturer to importer.
“The Australian market is shifting and, like Holden, we’re shifting with it,” HSV managing director Tim Jackson said.
“The current logo has served us well over many years, but as the business transitions to encompass a far broader array of product offerings, this new logo represents a new and expanded brand promise”.
The raft of changes come after the last locally manufactured Commodore-based HSV was built.
Previously, HSV’s main effort was tuning and rebadging locally-built Commodores into its stable. Now, it will begin a two-product stream plan in conjunction with Holden that will see HSV help the Lion brand import GM product.
“For a number of years, we’ve been talking about bringing customers the best vehicles from around the GM world, and today we’re proud to announce the next step in that strategy,” said Mark Bernhard, Holden's Chairman.
The bulk of new work will be importing GM Chevrolet product to be placed into Holden and HSV showrooms with Bow Tie branding.
“We’re excited to re-introduce the Chevrolet brand to the Australian market as part of an expanded GM presence in Australia, in partnership with HSV. As far as dealership branding is concerned, the existing HSV dealer network will be progressively updated to carry the Chevrolet ‘bow-tie’ logo and branding, as part of our new ‘dealership of the future’ program. The DNA of both of these vehicles is pure Chevrolet and we’re going to honour that," said Bernhard.
“Our partnership with HSV, utilising their world-class engineering and design capabilities, means we’re able to work together to bring the iconic Chevrolet Camaro muscle-car and the best-selling Chevrolet Silverado pick-up to customers in Australia and New Zealand, not to mention the imminent launch of the exciting Colorado SportsCat. Today is a great day for Holden and HSV, but even more importantly, for our customers”.
The first product available sees HSV modifying Holden’s imported vehicle line-up by enhancing existing models in new segments, such as SUVs and 4x4s, that will be designated as the Holden model ‘by HSV’.
The upcoming Holden Colorado Sportscat by HSV will debut its new line-up. There are no plans yet for a model given sole HSV nomenclature – a decision to be made by both Holden and HSV when the time comes, said Jackson.
“If we then take some vehicles further up the food chain, and both Holden and HSV believe the best branding approach for the vehicle is to receive the full HSV designation, then we will make that call at the time”.
While the Colorado Sportscat is mechanically different in some of its driveline parts, its power output has remained unchanged and is a sign of things to come in some of the Lion and Helmet brand’s upcoming cars.
“HSV is moving beyond simply ‘hotting up’ existing models, and customers will see two product streams from HSV over the next few years,” Jackson said.
“Some of our traditional customers will expect more power, and if the opportunities present themselves, we will look to develop powertrain enhancements where it makes sense. However, we see an opportunity to appeal to customers by investing in enhanced vehicle specification and capability that really delivers a great driving experience and a competitive advantage in various segments.
“SportsCat is a great example of how we can deliver improved on-road and off-road driving dynamics, and combine a great new look with improved vehicle capability and versatility. The segment is about much more than drag-strip times”.
Alongside the Colorao and other Holden-sourced products will be a conversion line, converting left-hand drive vehicles to road-registrable right-hand drive cars in Australia.
It will initially include a variety of vehicles from GM’s large global purse with the first two cars to go under the knife the much-speculated Chevrolet Camaro 2SS and larger Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD utes.
Both cars are due to go on-sale within 12 months.
HSV’s conversion experience comes from sister company American Special Vehicles (ASV), which has been converting American-sourced Ram pick-ups at its facility in Clayton. The Ram rivals the Silverado in the US market but HSV says it is not concerned with the rivalry.
“That’s their (ASV’s) business, I’m not too concerned about brands when the Silverado gets here. I’m not concerned at all about the Ram,” said Jackson.
Unlike Holden badged models modified by HSV, which will wear HSV’s new badge, the imported Chevrolets will wear the big Bow Tie and HSV will not touch the cars beyond purely converting to right-hand drive.
“Our engineering involvement starts and stops with the conversion of the vehicles from left to right-hand drive. These are iconic Chevys to the core and we’ll let the famed bow-tie speak for itself”, Jackson said.
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