Holden has announced it plans to keep using its iconically-Australian Commodore nameplate despite the fact that from 2018 the car will be no longer be made locally and instead will be imported.
Holden Executive Director of Sales, Peter Keley, announced this week that the company would maintain the nameplate at least for the next-generation large car which will be imported from GM’s global operations from 2018.
Car Advice reports that, following the closure of operations at Australia’s Holden plant in 2017, it’s believed that the imports that will wear the Commodore badge will be made in Europe.
But despite the decision to keep the Commodore name, Manufacturers’ Monthly reports that the new cars are likley to be front-wheel drive, unlike every Commodore made previously.
When contacted, Kate Lonsdale Senior Manager of Product Communications said the company had not yet released any further details of models in development this far out from production. However she said that customers could “rest assured, we are more than confident that the future Commodore will live up the name and compare very favourably or improve on the current Commodore’s dynamic performance, acceleration, fuel economy, running costs and weight.”
Continuing 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.”
According to the company, customer feedback led to the decision to retain the Commodore nameplate.
“Through the process of selecting the vehicle, we put to customers a number of possible criteria to better understand what they felt was important for the car to be competitive in the Australian market. And, of course, whether it deserved the Commodore nameplate.
“Ultimately, the overwhelming response from customers was that Holden should continue the Commodore nameplate into the future with our next-generation large car.”
The company reported that across 17 different customer research sessions, Commodore owners and non-Commodore owners offered a range of views, with a strong majority favouring retention of the Commodore nameplate.
“We know the decision to retain or retire the Commodore nameplate will stir passionate responses among Holden fans and customers. That’s why we’ll ensure the next-generation car drives like a Commodore should,” Mr Keley said.
“The vehicle will be tuned and honed by Holden engineers and technicians at our world-class Lang Lang Proving Ground in Victoria, ensuring it performs in Australian conditions and to Australian expectations. Right now, our Vehicle Performance team is helping shape the next-generation Commodore for Australian customers.”
Holden said that across all customer research sessions, almost 70% of unaided customer responses to the Commodore nameplate were positive, with participants citing Commodore’s reliability, performance and appropriateness for families.