The Holden Caprice badge will not survive the shutting down of Holden's Elizabeth assembly plant in 2017, and there is no replacement planned.
Speaking with TMR this week, Holden's National Sales Director Peter Keley said there is no plan to continue offering a long-wheelbase large car once local production ends.
Citing low sales volumes in the upper-large segment, Mr Keley said the Caprice does not have a place in Holden's product plan post-2017.
Asked if anything would replace it, the answer was a firm "No".
“It’s a very small market. It’s only 1200 cars a year," Keley told TMR at this week's Trax launch.
“There’s obviously the hire-car customers, and there’s actually quite a reasonable private mix within that," he continued.
"But it’s a small market, and there’s only so many niche products you can have in a complete portfolio."
Currently, the Caprice's export program to the Middle East and the United States as the Chevrolet Caprice (the latter country exclusively as the Caprice PPV police car, below) helps justify its place on the production line.
However, the lack of a clear replacement from GM's global product portfolio means the nameplate will likely die once local production winds down.
Even Cadillac's largest sedan, the XTS, is substantially smaller than the Caprice, with its 2.8 metre wheelbase dwarfed by the Caprice's 3.0 metre wheelbase.
“The Caprice makes sense for us today because there’s lots of export volume which makes it all viable. It’s in our plant, producing good volumes so we offer it for sale.”
“But as for a future replacement, I don’t see one.”
With nothing set to replace the Caprice in Holden's lineup, the premium taxi and hire car market will need to find a new long-wheelbase limo to replace it.
Holden's loss will likely be Hyundai's gain, as Hyundai's upcoming Genesis (below) has the size, space and premium feel required by the high-end hire car market.
Not only that, with a projected sub-$60k pricetag the Genesis should fill the Caprice's shoes nicely.
The Holden Commodore, meanwhile, will eventually get a replacement of its own - albeit one that's likely to be based on a FWD GM product and one that may not wear the Commodore nameplate.
The Commodore's replacement has yet to be officially announced.
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