Holden has confirmed the Commodore name will live on beyond 2017, when the carmaker is scheduled to cease local manufacturing.
At that point, the large sedan, wagon and utility models as we currently know them will effectively be no more. Whether the Commodore name would die along with them was, until now, unclear.
But Holden says customer feedback has driven the decision to retain the Commodore name, which will adorn a future imported “large car” from the global GM stables beginning in 2018.
“The next-generation large car we have selected from GM’s global portfolio is worthy of the iconic Commodore nameplate,” Holden Executive Director of Sales, Peter Keley, said.
“When it arrives in 2018, our new large car will honour Commodore’s heritage and support a long and successful future for Holden in Australia and New Zealand. Holden and Commodore aren’t going anywhere; they will remain pillars of Australian motoring for many years to come.”
Mr Keley said 17 key focus points for any future Commodore were put to a group of potential customers, including whether Holden should retain the badge that first arrived in showrooms in 1978.
Around 70 percent supported the decision to retain the name, saying it carried a reputation for reliable family cars and the associated performance models.
The sales boss acknowledged not all Holden fans will be happy with the decision to continue the Commodore’s legacy post-2017, but moved to reassure them the 2018 model will be worthy of the name.
“We know the decision to retain or retire the Commodore nameplate will stir passionate responses among Holden fans and customers,” Mr Keley said.
“That’s why we’ll ensure the next-generation car drives like a Commodore should.”
Mr Keley said development for the next Commodore was already underway, with tuning for Australian conditions being honed by local engineers utilising the facilities at Holden’s Lang Lang proving ground.
Tuning for local conditions was a key finding from Holden’s focus group research, along with affordability, power, interior space and exterior styling.
Customers were also after a car with towing ability and a continuation of Commodore’s luxury and sport variants.
So now the question is: where will Holden’s next Commodore come from?
The Insignia is due to arrive back in Australia this year wearing Holden badges, following Opel’s failed attempt to launch locally as a stand-alone brand.
Holden’s New Zealand boss hinted that Insignia had been given the nod midway through last year.
Designed by the Holden team in Australia, the Avenir may also preview elements of the next Commodore; or at least a replacement for the Holden Caprice.
The Caprice badge was not expected to survive post-2017 however, and Mr Keley has previously ruled out offering a large, long-wheelbase luxury sedan in its place.
Watch this space…
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